The topic of the father’s role in the treatment of social development in Asperger’s children.
If your child has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, their father should play the role of the _______ and not as someone who disciplines the child.
In this blog, I would like to explain the the father’s role in children with Asperger’s syndrome.
Statistically, among children with Asperger’s syndrome, boys are relatively higher than girls.
In a general sense fathers often show a more coercive, directive, or authoritarian attitude when it comes to discipline.
Mothers typically treat their children in a way of understanding and comforting so often there is not much conflict as some mothers take a softer approach.
Because fathers treat children authoritatively for the purpose of ‘discipline’, conflict with younger children often occurs.
In this type of relationship the child often avoids the father and the father becomes more coercive which can result in a constant state of conflict. If this cycle persists it can be very difficult for Asperger’s children to develop social skills in the home.
Asperger’s Syndrome Treatment: The first role of fathers in social development
1. It’s not that children don’t do something, it’s that they can’t!
It is important to keep in mind that normal parenting and discipline methods should not be applied to Asperger’s children. Children have very unique characteristics, and before the child can change, the father must change first.
Most parents talk to their children if they do not listen or do the opposite of what they are told. When parents explain to their child they generally expect the child to change their behavior but most times the child repeats the mistake again.
Because the child’s pronunciation is poor and they are not yet used to back and forth conversations if parents say a few words to them, the child is often unable to answer the parent straight away. When they see a child who seems frozen and unable to answer, the parents can sometimes start to get angry and think that they are deliberately not responding.
However, if a child lacks social skills, they are likely to be delayed even in the interactions with their parents.
If you take the time to ask your child sincerely later, you can see that you are not ignoring your father, that you did not want to violate his words, and that you were forcefully wrong and broken. Understanding your child is the only way to change the rest.
Asperger’s Syndrome Treatment: The second role of fathers in social development
2. You have to admit and accept that your child’s mental age is young!
You have to consider the child’s biological and mental age.
You can start by asking yourself how old your child’s mental age is or what level they are.
Generally, children with Asperger’s Syndrome are delayed by 2-3 years.
Do not ask the child what age they are.
It is very important not to compare your child’s mental age to children that are the same age, do not feel discouraged by this.
You should look at your child’s grade level and treat your child according to his or her age.
If a 3rd grader is on the same level as a 1st grader, she should be treated as a 1st grader.
If parents lower their child’s behavioral expectations according to their mental age,
a lot of the conflict and anger will reduce.
Asperger’s Syndrome Treatment: The third role of fathers in social development
3. Instructions are more specific and detailed than abstract expressions!
Asperger’s children do not understand when spoken to in an abstract way.
It is important to keep in mind that you need to be specific and detailed in order for your child to understand you.
It is not that the child does not want to take the advice of their parents.
The child does not understand how to speak in abstract terms and goes into a ‘mindful’ state of how to execute it. So it becomes difficult to answer parents right away and it is difficult to turn abstract instructions into action.
You need to get rid of the thought, ‘If I say this, the child will understand, right?‘
For example, when you have to talk about something with your teacher at school, it’s good to designate specific classes, places, and times, and even tell them what to say hello to.
In this way, it should be specified in what order and way of action the child should take. That way, the child will not be mistaken. To avoid errors, it is recommended that you do a simulation.
Asperger’s Syndrome Treatment: The fourth role of fathers in social development
4. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome have a slow speed of information processing!
When you ask an Asperger’s child a question, they can be very slow in answering it. Parents can often misunderstand this slow response and think that the child is avoiding answering the question but in most cases the child is just thinking.
The child thinks about the question intently, their thinking and processing often runs slowly and when the child produces a thought this can be very difficult to translate into words. It is important to understand that these processes are very slow.
You need to wait a tempo for your child’s speed.
It would be helpful to understand that it is difficult for a child to think of appropriate words to answer, and to try to talk while objectively presenting a motif in any word or answer.
Asperger’s Syndrome Treatment: The fifth role of fathers in social development
5. Asperger’s children experience extreme fear and panic!
Even a slight increase in the tone of a father’s voice will cause the child to think that their father is angry. If the tempo of a father’s words increases even slightly it results in fear.
It makes the child think, ‘why are you telling me off?’ Surprisingly, this is true.
Asperger’s children are inherently fearful and anxious.
Parents should therefore be careful of their tone and way of pointing out an issue relating to their child, when talking to their child.
If possible focus on complimenting your child and bring the tone and rhythm of your voice on very slowly so that the child can feel that they are being taken care of.
It is very important to understand your child’s anxiety and fear.
Asperger’s Syndrome Treatment: The sixth role of fathers in social development
6. Dads should be friends, not discipliners & educators!
A father should exist as a friend to their child, not as a figure of discipline or an educator.
Friends do not scold children. A friend wants to talk with a child and play.
There is a great gap between the child and the world.
A child needs a bridge to understand and approach the world and this bridge has to be the father.
It can be difficult for fathers to take on this role.
When a father interacts in the friend role, the child can gradually understand and learn how to play with others.
“What should I play with my child? What kind of conversations will my child enjoy with me?”
What should I look like if I want to be recognized as a friend to my child so that I can have a really deep conversation them and have fun together?
We encourage you to ask yourself this question and take action.
The child will achieve significant development in social development through their relationship with their father.
A very important space for social development will be created in the home.