AS/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) advice to parents


Active Member
An AS man wrote these excellent tips for parents, I am posting them with his permission.

1. Keep a sense of humor. Seek to enjoy, not to scream.

2. Celebrate the aspie child’s humor, creativity, and passion.

3. Remember that a child with asperger`s is still a child with thoughts and feelings, and that you are the adult this child looks to for support and guidance.

4. You do not have a standard child. You can view the issue as a disability. Or, you can view it as wonderful uniqueness. Or, you can view it as both. The perspective of “standard,” though, is not an option. This "disability outlook" will help because it eliminates blame; sets reasonable expectations thereby minimizing anger; and points the way for parents/teachers to see themselves as "therapists" not victims.

5. Recognize that attention issues in the child are only the tip of the iceberg that the whole family must address.

6. The “patient” in Asperger`s is the whole family.

7. Remember that children with Asperger`s have two time frames: “Now,” and “Huh.” There is no future. There is only now. The past is non-negotiable.

8. Do you want to understand the aspie`s actions? Just ask yourself: “What behavior would make sense if you only had 4 seconds to live?”

9. Instead of punishing wrong behavior, set a reward for the correct behavior you would rather replace it with. Rewards should be immediate, frequent, powerful, clearly defined, and consistent. Also remember that a behavior always gets stronger before it changes.

10. Plan ahead. Give warnings before transitions. Discuss in advance what is expected, and what the results might be. Have the child repeat out loud the terms he just agreed to.

11. Don’t argue; nag; or attempt unsolicited and spontaneous transplants of your wisdom to your child. Instead, either a) decide that the issue is aggravating but not significant enough to warrant intervention; or b) make an appointment with your child to discuss the issue.

12. Head off big fights before they begin. Seek to diffuse, not to inflame. When tempers flare, allow everyone to cool off. Serious discussion can only occur during times of composure.

13. Especially with teens, negotiate, negotiate, and negotiate. Parents need to model negotiation, not inflexibility. Don’t worry about losing control: the parent always gets to decide when negotiation is over and which compromise is accepted. Remember: negative behaviors usually occur because the aspie is spinning out of control, not because he is evil. While evil behavior would need to be aggressively squelched, the much more common overwhelmed behavior needs to be calmly defused.

14. Pick your fights. Is the issue at hand worth chipping away at your relationship with your child? Can your child really control the offending behavior at this moment?

15. Although it is not the child’s “fault,” he will still ultimately be the one to take the consequences of his behavior. It will help your child if you can explain the consequences clearly and logically when your child is able to listen.

16. This is hard work. It is also hard work for your child.

17. You will make it through this; you have no choice.

18. “The children who need love the most will always ask for it in the most unloving ways.” [Words of a teacher quoted by Russell Barkley.]

19. If it is working, keep doing it. If not, do something else.

20. Barkley implores you to forgive your child and yourself nightly. You didn’t ask to live with the effects of Asperger`s any more than did your child.

21. Review this text, and others, periodically. You are going to forget this stuff, and different principles will likely be needed at different stages. A good way to remember to review is by subscription to some of the free monthly newsletters on Asperger`s.

22. Steven Covey (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) suggests imagining your child delivering your eulogy. What do you want him to say about you? Keep those bigger goals in mind as you choose your interactions/reactions to your child.

23. This is not a contest with your child. The winner is not the one with more points. The winner is the one whose child still loves them when they graduate from high school.



Thanks Elise, I needed to hear this today.
This applies so much to my Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD),not otherwise specified kidlet.



Former desparate mom
Elise, this is right on the money in dealing with my son.(except, of course, it is kid centered and not family centered-which you expect from an Aspie)

I like the idea of remembering this is hard work for him and imagine you have 4 seconds to live.
Very appropriate from my experiences.

One other suggestion is to keep words to a minimium. Short, clear, direct sentences seem to be the best way to click with my difficult child.
Printing...printing...printing....OMG it won't print :panic:

OOPS..wrong printer....

Printing...OH YEAH!!!

husband and counselors and teachers are gonna LOVE this...just what I've been trying so hard to tell them!!!

Thanks a bunch!

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
That is wonderful. When husband gets home I am going to print it and put it up on the frig to help remind husband and N of some very valid points. And for me to...when T has me so frustrated I forget. :wink:


New Member
My husband needs this--desperately!! Thanks! I also love that part about 4 seconds to live. That explains so many of my difficult child's behaviors--especially the negative ones.


New Member
Thank you for this. My DS is not yet diagnosed AS or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) but I seem to face a lot of the same challenges as the moms of these precocious kids.


Active Member
My 2 favorites are "now" and "huh?" and 4 seconds to live. It explains a lot. :laugh:

I will be sure the author sees the positive response to his advice. I think he will be very pleased.



New Member
thanks, guys ! i am that as man... i will use some of the ideas you write to make it a better list. i like the one about short, clear, direct sentences. trying to figure out how to make it more family oriented...



Former desparate mom
Hi comediAN23, thanks for popping in. Nice to meet you and making the list accessible to us NT's.