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First, Let me say I can imagine how difficult the situation must be for you. I work with Aspergers teens and preteens can be very demanding and challenging as they grow. I am therefore going to begin by urging you to consider having her work with a psychologist who is experienced with Aspergers kids and teens. Why? So that you don't face the full brunt of teaching her the rules of the world and of life that she needs to integrate. Because these rules of living that seem so easy and natural to us are mystifying and arbitrary to her and she needs to be continually trained and convinced of the rules we are telling her she needs to work within. So having another authority that she can refer to who can tell her how to navigate the world is vital for her and YOUR wellbeing!
I will get to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) (please forgive my American spelling) but I want to get you started with an approach that I feel is more parent friendly and more specific to Aspergers and extremely effective. Let me give you the name of an excellent book I use with parents. The book is Parenting Your Aspergers Child by Sohn and Grayson. Here is the Amazon web page for it: http://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Your-Asperger-Child-Individualized/dp/0399530703/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1285651809&sr=1-1 I have multiple copies of it in my office to give to parents because I think the proactive approach they use is sensational! Their approach is extremely practical and is based on guiding the child or teen through the confusing arbitrariness of what the world is like for her. So, this is my first recommendation to you. And when you interview psychologists, see if they are willing to use the approach. Now Aspergers in girls is a bit different than with boys. So for your education, here's a book about girls and Aspergers. I'm including it for your knowledge, not as a treatment guide. Asperger's and Girls by Tony Attwood. Attwood is THE authority in spectrum disorders. There are other experts who have chapters. It can be a bit repetitive. Here's the Amazon page:
Now for ABA. This is really a modality for working with autism spectrum disorders. It is used in our work with Aspergers. But my concern is that you are getting into a very professional discussion that you're not going to be interested in. ABA is a comprehensive way to do what the Parenting book I first cited for you does to a great extent in practical terms. ABA focuses on the principle that changing behavior with autism is best accomplished by directing the awareness of the person on the effect of current behavior on the environment around her. This is as opposed to focusing on what it feels like inside to do the behavior. This is a very simplistic and overview type of explanation. But I hope you get the idea: ABA is a way to focus the autistic (or Aspergers) child on what she's doing in the world and how her behavior is having effect in the world rather than inside of her.
So here are two books on it. The first is really for professionals. But if you're interested here it is. It's in a second edition now: Applied Behavior Analysis by Cooper, Heron, and Heward. Here's the Amazon page:
This next one is a lot more parent friendly: The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders by Barbera and Rasmussen. Here's the Amazon page:
Okay. So all in all, I hope that you will get and use the principles in Sohn's book to your best advantage and get help for yourselves and her from a psychologist and get good education from the other books. I wish you all the best!
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