You’ve suspected something was amiss for a while, and you’ve come to the conclusion that in all likelihood your teen has Asperger’s. Now what?
It’s time to open the conversation with your son or daughter about what you’re noticing. Chances are, they too know they are different from their peers or siblings. Letting your teen know that you very much want to be there for them is the first step.
Teens with Asperger’s need to know that their parents have their back, that they are not going to be judged or loved any less because they are different. They also need to know that they are not alone and are not broken—they just have a different neurology or way of experiencing the world. It can also help for them to know that millions of people have Asperger’s and still lead full lives.
The Earlier the Better
Your child’s self-esteem can be bolstered by understanding why some things are harder for them than they are for their peers. The younger your teen is when you open the conversation and the earlier that you get a formal diagnosis, the greater the likelihood that they will be receptive to working on finding solutions/modifications that will help.
When Your Teen Won’t Communicate
It’s typical for teens not to want to hear what parents have to say. If your child shuts you out when you try to raise this topic, you have options:
- Educate yourself as much as possible by reading about the subject and learning which aspects of the condition apply to your teen. Asperger’s manifests itself uniquely in each person.
- Asperger’s can run in families. If you have relatives with Asperger’s or who have experience with the condition, it could be helpful to speak with them.
- Seek professional help with a therapist who has experience working with people with Asperger’s and can also provide referrals for a formal diagnosis.