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
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

 


Get a free whine stopper

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

More News & Tips Articles

How to Discuss Your Child's Diagnosis with Your Child
What to Do if Your Child Has Challenging Symptoms but No Official Diagnosis
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

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

Local News & Tips Sponsors


Landmark Preschool
11 Burr Road
Westport, CT
203-544-8393
Landmark of Ridgefield Academy is an independent s...
Skin
856 Rte 25A
Miller Place, NY
631-988-1673
...

Cao, Hai T. MD, PC
501 5th Ave.
Park Slope, NY
718-576-2450
Dr Cao entered medicine with the objective of beco...

Breezemont Day Camp
62-64 Cox Ave.
Armonk, NY
914-273-3162
Breezemont is a co-ed day camp for children ages 3...

Atlantic Acting School
76 Ninth Ave., Suite 537
New York, NY
212-691-5919
NYC's acclaimed Atlantic Acting School has taught ...
See Our News & Tips Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2015 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE