Here you'll find lots of helpful advice and information by just clicking the relevant section below, however if you have a question that is not answered here, simply check out the Aspergernauts Community.
Choose a section
Do you have an advice you'd like to share? Talk about it in the Aspergernauts Community.
Changes to routine
People with A.S. usually struggle with changes to routine. It's unpredictable and because they are not able to plan ahead and understand what changes have been made they can become very stressed as a direct result. If you find it difficult to manage time and changes then:
1. If it's in school, college or a place of work then ask who ever is in charge and is the most understanding of your difficulties if they could notify you of these changes well in advance, and ask questions if you need some things to be explained.
For example, if you wish to know what's going on next week at school, and you are worried about it. Ask someone. It could be anyone - teacher, friend, or another person! Try to relax about the change and don't expect the worst.
2. There is nothing better than attempting to overcome the difficulty, so this is done by actually making changes yourself to your routine. You can decide to do something a different way than normal for a change, then swap it back and forth - eventually change will become a bit easier.
It is common for people with A.S. to either sleep at strange hours, sleep too much or too little. If you are sleeping too much maybe it's the stress of something thats caused this? If your sleeping too little maybe establish if your not tired or if it's something else. Identifying why is a good step forward.
1. Make sure you try to eat before bedtime and try having a bath with some essential oils.
2. Relax to music before bed (use subtle and relaxing music)
3. Turn lights down or off (the lower the better!)
4. Try not to get up and do things although it is hard, turn off any distractions such as TV or PC.
Remember food is growing powder, not everybody likes all food; just eat
what you feel like. I still don't like a lot of foods myself. Do not force yourself to eat new things if it makes you feel sick but be open to trying some new foods if you can, you may like
If you feel nervous eating around people, then for a while you should remove yourself from the situation as otherwise it can make it more stressful and harder and you may actually stop eating because of it. Eat in a quiet place. Otherwise, if you play some music and read a magazine while eating - it can take your mind off eating.
Sit at home and imagine there is people around you while you eat, and try to think about it while eating at home. It should then help when you go out, and eventually you may feel comfortable. Remember - No one is going to be watching just you.
We're all afraid of things, but sometimes A.S. gives you hightened senses. You may feel scared of Fire for example, or even spiders or heights. At the end of the day determination is the key. Just say, I can do this... I can do this... and I'm going to do it. And, you never know... it may very well happen! Do some research about the phobia and it might give you some ideas about the reasons why you are afraid.
It's not something that should really bother you, if your afraid of spiders - it's not that unusual. You do have to take into consideration that in the United Kingdom they are harmless - you are more likely to hurt them then they are to hurt you.
Anxiety & Stress
Sometimes we all suffer from a little stress and worry, but it can affect people with A.S. quite a bit.
The best solution I can offer here is to remove yourself from stressful situations for a few days and focus on relaxation and making future things a little less stressful.
Use things like your Interest, Hobbies, Art or Music to express yourself and relax.
If you suffer from depression, maybe due to bullying, or some of your difficulties - then you need to speak to someone. Someone you can trust, or know well... be it a teacher, parent, friend or even pen pal... Then, this will help. If your being bullied, you need to speak to parents and teachers about it.
Remember, try not to bottle things up - they can only get worse otherwise.
You should relax, and use meditation, listen to music and take your mind of the thing that's caused it.
Never turn to Alcohol / Cigarettes / Drugs as it just makes things a whole lot worse.
Action Plans are a method to helping solve problems. You will create a page with someone you know, which will detail the problem and a solution. Give everyone that needs to know a copy - so when the situation arrises you know exactly what will happen.
To make an action plan, you need to discuss your problems with someone you are comfortable with, or do it by yourself if you feel confident you know how to proceed. You need to simply outline the difficulty, such as you have a problem with certain lesson at school, because of such and such a reason, and then write down some possible solutions, such as leaving the room for a bit.
Problem: Struggle with eating in the dinner
hall, I get nervous sometimes and if I don't eat it can cause me to feel
Solution: To eat either away from the dinner room, or to go home at lunch.
These problems/solutions must be discussed with the people concerned first - so they are aware and come to an agreement! Once you have finished your action plan, provide a copy to everyone concerned. If someone does not understand your difficulties provide them with this website address: www.aspergernauts.co.uk
You'll experience at some point that being a teenager is difficult and I would say it's not easy for anyone as your just starting to experience life, make decisions and shape your life for the future. You'll also be going through the tough time of high school.
Boosting confidence is one way forward, and it's something you should work on.
This can be difficult for children with A.S. as
talking or communicating is part of being a teenager so this is a major
problem but it can be beaten, with time and effort! However, do try to relax when talking to other people and it
may help you feel better.
Have a clean sheet approach to talking to people, don't think too much about "Oh, what am I going to say", "What should I say". Don't feel people are judging you by what you are saying. Try to vary your conversation a bit, and not talk about one thing for too long, especially your interest - as earthlings get bored quickly if you talk about the same thing.
If your interested in computers for example, you wan't to avoid talking about it for the whole convosation - try and talk about other things too - it might be other hobbies or something someone else is interested in. Find out about the other person and learn along the way, ask them what they like? What music they like?!
Love & Relationships
This is very tricky for people with A.S. and they often wonder why they find it difficult to find companionship. Dating is pretty much a game when people are young and we probably see it on a more serious note.
1. Try to relax - don't worry too much about things. It's not the end of the world and there is no rush.
2. Do not touch other people unless it is OK with them, why not ask them fist? But make sure you are going out with them, and he/she is ready.
3. Be kind, friendly and caring. Talk as much as you can , compliment them. Maintain good eye contact, and smile. Even if your not interested in what he/she has to say. Be happy and show interest in them.
4. Confidence is key to success in dating, so work on increasing that. Do not become attached to someone and take things slow and they'll start to enjoy spending time with you and the more they do that they'll appreciate the great sides of A.S.
5. If he/she doesn't want to date you or is mean because of something you find difficult - maybe it's because he/she doesn't understand but all you can do is try and if they are not interested then do not worry - move on.
6. Give your boyfriend or girlfriend some space when they need it - do not be over obcessive of them.
Do they fancy me? What do I do?
If he/she fancies you they will show some form of subtle signs - so it may be difficult for someone with A.S. to recognise. Eye contact is the biggest key indicator and also if they are shy around you and smile a lot.
If you like someone, show some interest in them. Smile and talk to them (if you feel comfortable). Learn about them and show a desire to have interest in what they have to say. If you find it hard to break the ice and speak to them on the first occasion your best bet is to try and build up courage to ask them if they'd like to hang out. It could be: Have you seen (insert film name here) yet? (he/she replies: No I haven't) and you could say: I'd really like to see it, would you like to come along?!
What if I dont like talking in person at first?
Your best bet would be to at least give Internet dating a go, although it's expensive. You could also try confidence building and visiting clubs in order to increase your social circle.
What about sex?
You should be sure that if you are in a relationship you are both happy to take further. If you are happy together and you would like to go to the next level you should make sure you both are aware of the risks and take the correct protection against infection or pregnancy. Sex is a very emotional time so be sure you are really ready for it and you both want it.
Especially in High School or College you may find people try to pressure you into bullying, causing trouble or getting into smoking. Do not fall for it.
Do not do what you are not comfortable with. Your response to people who pressure you is that you do not want to do that and you have better things to do.
It is not worth your time to be pressured into doing what everyone else does. If other people expect you to wear £100 trainers for example, do not feel you have to just because they said you should be wearing these trainers. To follow the crowd and the 'norm' is not always the best thing to do and it's good to be different.
You should avoid excessive drinking and smoking - it will not help you in anyway although it can be tempting at first.
If someone in authority asks you to do something that worries you, tell them you would not like to do it and tell them in private that you struggle with these things because you have A.S. and then pass them to this website.
This is a major problem for all children not just A.S. children but it can be a lot more taunting (or worrying) for A.S. children so I have put a few Tips to help you out! Remember they aren't miracles and they may not work for everyone, but there is every chance it might work for you.
A great source of information is http://www.justsmile.org.uk - drop by and have a read.
1. They are the stupid people not you. Teachers might tell you to ignore it, but ignoring it doesn't make the problem go away. The bully's are the stupid ones, because they need a victim to make them feel good and look big in front of other pupils. Remember, they are simply jealous that you have a better future, and much more talent than they do. In fact, bully's are generally unsatisfied with their own life.
2. Try to relax and not get too stressed although relaxing can be hard, if your teacher will let you go and move out of the classroom for a while and listen to some relaxing music and have a drink to cut down the stress. Being a Teenager can also be very stressful, but try to keep calm and follow the tips in here, I hope they'll help!
3. Tell someone such as a teacher and your parents because it can be sorted out better if you tell someone. Don't bottle it up too much, and if someone is unwilling to listen or tells you to put up with it - speak to someone else, or tell them you cannot put up with it and they are not realising your difficulty... send them to this website, or to e-mail me if they need this explaining.
4. Try making friends with people who have large social groups, and aim to be cool and fit in more - try to join in with things a little and talk to more people (not about your interests too much but just about things in general). If you can do this, then you have a better chance of back-up from friends if any one begins to pick on you, and you'll find by having a larger group of friends you'll have a lot less hassle.
When you reach 16, its time to start really growing up, taking responsibility, etc
Although difficult, with help from people around you, it isn't that difficult at all, remember your special interest (whatever it may be) may lead your future of fortune, many rich people have AS.
Most AS people are skilled in one area more than others, so do what you specialise in, for me it is computers.
Interviews are hard for older people living with aspergers, but the best advice until I reach that stage is to say relax, it is not the end of the world, and someone somewhere will be impressed with your results in your special interest. For example people are amazed with what I can do on the computer, because I am good at that, that's the important thing.
There is a lot of help which can now be obtained for people with Aspergers looking for employment. There is such things as supported employment to help with the stress of job interviews. Contact your nearest information provider for more details about supported employment for Aspergers Syndrome.
Do you have an advice you'd like to share? Talk about it in the Aspergernauts Community.