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

 


Get Your FREE Indoor Activity eGuide!

More News & Tips: Special Needs Articles

Resale Boutique for American Girl Dolls Supports Women with Autism

Future Applications of Brain Research for Kids With Special Needs
NYMetro Special Parent Spring/Summer 2014 Table of Contents
A Mother Reflects: Daughter with Special Needs Surpasses Doctors' Predictions
Targeted Genome Sequencing: The Future of Personalized Medicine

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

Local News & Tips: Special Needs Sponsors

300 New York
Pier 60/23rd & West Side Highway
New York, NY
212-835-2695
A place that actually encourages kids to knock thi...

Kids at Art Children's Art Studio & Gallery
1412 Second Ave. (bet. 73rd & 74th Streets)
New York, NY
212-410-9780
Kids at Art is the premiere art studio of its kind...

Howe Caverns Adventure Park
255 Discovery Drive
Howes Cave, NY
518-296-8900
Howe Caverns is the Largest Show Cave in the North...

Little Friends Child Care & Preschool
25 Valley Drive
Greenwich, CT
203-861-6549
Exceptional child care. At Little friends we stre...

#1 in Kids Entertainment Professional Kids Entertainment
Proudly Serving Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan & the Bronx
516-596-5067
Professional Kids Entertainment is your one stop f...
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