Book Recommendation

Aspergers Clinic
  Diagnostic Evaluations

  Indep. Ed. Evals (IEE)
Learning Disabilities

Intake Packet

In-Home Services
  Problem Behaviors
  Sleep Service
  Toilet Training

    Intake Packet

  Behavior Plans (BIP)
  Indep. Ed. Evals (IEE)
  IEP - Consultation

  Staff Training
  Parent Verbal
Therapist Program

About Us


Contact Us

  Nearby Accommodations



  ● TriCare Change
  ●TriCare UPDATE

  ● Retired TriCare -ABA 
Insurance Policy PDF

Is ABA Experimental?
Resources in seeking
     Insurance support for
     ABA services

Open Ga Autism List

Public Service

Referral Information

Staff Hiring

Support Groups
  Open Ga Autism List


  Sleep - Not Optional
  As a Parent - ABA
  Aspergers & Depression
  ABA, Retirees, and TriCare
  Briefing the Teacher
  Does RU Certify
  BCBA-D What is it?
  BCABA - Independent?
  How to answer when
  insurance says ABA
  is experimental.
  EIBI and Cost
  "The Autism Puzzle"
  What is BCBA anyway?
  What is the ABLLS-R?
  ASD Evaluations
  Sign vs. PECS
  Release Records
  NAS on Autism
  Sleep Tips
  Hire an ABA?
  ADHD or Sleep?
  Rx data sharing
  More than Rx needed
  Social Maladjustment
  A good Psych Report?

    Support Groups

  Consumer Resources
  Learning Disorders
  Specific Disorders


By Dan Coulter

Thereís a great Gary Larson Far Side cartoon about optimists and pessimists that shows four people, each separately looking at a glass with some water in it.

The first person says, "The glass is half full!"

The second person says, "The glass is half empty."

The third person says, "The glass is half full...No! Wait! Half empty....No,
half...What was the question?

The fourth person says, "Hey! I ordered a cheeseburger!"

Larson titled this cartoon, "The four basic personality types," but I sometimes think of the fourth responder as a guy with Asperger Syndrome. Heís got a completely different viewpoint that others may not understand or appreciate.

And it can cause him no end of trouble.

I recently read about a Swedish study of people with Asperger Syndrome published in the September 2011 issue of Research in Developmental Disabilities. The study involved 54 willing adults with a clinical diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome.  Their average age was 27 and they were evenly split among males and females.

Among the key findings: Seventy percent of the study participants had experienced at least one episode of major depression, and about half had recurring depression. Fifty-six percent met the criteria for at least one anxiety disorder.

Whatís the connection between Asperger Syndrome and these problems?

I think itís mostly the cheeseburgers: unexpected, out of the norm behaviors.

Parents know these behaviors can cause others to reject, ridicule or ignore children with Asperger Syndrome. And routinely getting rejected, ridiculed or ignored is enough to make almost anyone anxious or depressed. Of course, there can be other causes for depression or anxiety. Parents should seek professional help for a child who shows ongoing symptoms of either, but there are things you can do that might prevent things from ever getting to that stage.

They say the best defense is a good offense. So, if you want to try and protect your children with Asperger Syndrome from negative feelings, I recommend relentless optimism.

Act enthusiastic and positive when youíre with your children. Donít always feel positive? As a friend of mine recommended, "Fake it til you make it!" Be a motivator. Not with false praise, but by focusing on your childrenís strengths and praising even small successes. Praise is addictive.

Iíve seen enthusiastic, happy kids with Asperger Syndrome return home from school hurt and frustrated after trying to fit in and getting rejected. And it can be worse than you know. Your child may not be telling you all the negative things that are happening at school. Thatís not uncommon.

Even without access to all the details, parents can help children cope by making home a safe haven of encouragement and support. One key form of support is teaching kids social skills that can help them when theyíre flying solo.

My parents had no clue I had Asperger Syndrome when I was growing up, but they were always positive and encouraging. I always knew they believed in me.

Whether itís a parent, a teacher, or a friend, knowing that someone believes in you can create a safety line that helps keep you from being dragged into anxiety or depression.

Whoever else your child sees with a hand on his safety line, imagine how powerful it will be for him to know youíre always anchoring the other end.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dan Coulter is the author of ten DVDs about Asperger Syndrome and autism, including "Asperger Syndrome for Dads." You can read more articles and offer comments on them at the article blog on his website: 

Copyright 2011 Dan Coulter Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Copyright © 1996-2016 Reinforcement Unlimited. All Rights Reserved
These pages are optimized for viewing in 800x600 format.
HIPAA Notice & Website Useage practices are available for viewing.

Our publications (online, email, or print) do not provide medical advice or a professional service. We are not engaged in providing any medical or professional advice or services through the publication or distribution of articles or comments on this site. Individuals with suspected or diagnosed disorders or syndromes, or any condition discussed on this site, should consult with a qualified professional for advice concerning treatment.  Please be advised that due to issus of confidentiality Reinforcement Unlimited, and its staff, will not correspond about specific children or their services via email or other electronic communication method.  If your inquiry is about a specific child's services please call the office at one of the numbers above.