What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

ASK THE EXPERT: HOW DO I EXPLAIN A SPECIAL NEEDS DIAGNOSIS TO MY CHILD?

     Home  >  Articles  > News & Tips: Special Needs
by Melanie Pearl, Ph.D.

Related: aspberger's, aspbergers, autism, autism spectrum, child, diagnosis, special needs, explain, how to tell your child, young child, advice, tips,


We asked Melanie Pearl, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist and certified school psychologist based in Stamford, CT, how to explain a special needs diagnosis to the affected child, and, specifically, her advice on how to tell a child with Aspberger's Syndrome that he has Aspberger's. Read on for her response.

 

"Generally speaking, the best way to share any information with a child is to consider the child's developmental level, and provide positive information about the topic tailored to the child's level of understanding. Be available to answer questions, be understanding and accepting of the child's feelings regarding the topic, and attempt to correct any misperceptions.

The younger the child, the less of an immediate reaction you will receive, and the more you will need to be prepared to answer questions over time that may appear to come out of the blue. Children process information in bits and pieces when it is relevant to them, and not necessarily according to an adult's schedule or expectations.
Specific to Asperger's Syndrome, Tony Attwood, a leading expert on Asperger's Syndrome, in his book, The Complete Guide to Asperger's, comments that given the trajectory of children's cognitive development, children with Asperger's who are younger than 8 years old may not perceive themselves as being different from others. Dr. Attwood recommends that explanations to younger children focus on the purposes and benefits of services they receive, with emphasis on appreciating individual differences. For older children, Dr. Attwood recommends "The Attributes Activity," which focuses on a child's strengths and involves the entire family in explaining the diagnosis to the child."

-Melanie Pearl, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and certified school psychologist, Center for Social Enrichment and Education Development (The SEED Center), Stamford, CT

 


Give yourself a free Holiday Gift

Receive our weekly highlights newsletter · Over 1,000 local activities

More News & Tips: Special Needs Articles

Study Finds Children With Autism More Sedentary Than Those Without the Disorder
Tips for Eating Gluten-Free at Every Restaurant
Teaching Your Child with Special Needs Difficult Skills
Teach Your Child Coping Strategies Now for a Smooth Transition into Adulthood Later
The Best of the Rest of the Web: Free Therapy, Appropriate Education, and Making Friends

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local News & Tips: Special Needs Sponsors


Battery Park City Parks Conservancy
212-267-9700
Large, lovely venue available to rent at 6 River T...

Party Kids
Manhattan & Hoboken only
New York, NY
646-489-6447
Hello darlings, my name is Josephine and you will ...

Grandma's Kitchen
125 Paris Ave.
Northvale, NJ
201-750-2301
Grandma?s Kitchen is a peanut and tree nut allergy...

Center for Literacy Enrichment at Pace University (The)
78 N. Broadway
White Plains, NY
914-422-4135
The Center for Literacy Enrichment was founded in ...

My Gym - Fresh Meadows
Utopia Center, 176-60 Union Turnpike
Fresh Meadows, NY
718-380-4599
My Gym has developed an extraordinary program and ...
See Our News & Tips: Special Needs Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE