Asperger and Depression

Asperger teens are prone for depression due to a much higher level of stress and anxiety. Their impairment in social interaction may contribute to some form of social isolation. Depression in children with Asperger Syndrome is not easily diagnosed as the characteristics of Asperger. Social withdrawal, lack of appetite and sleep disturbance are also common symptoms of depression. The impairments in verbal and non verbal communication most teens with Asperger have can mask some of the symptoms of depression.

Check for Symptoms

Parents, caregivers and teachers need to be aware of changes in the child' moods, activity levels or appetite. More symptoms are; teens complaining about vague physical problems such as headache or stomach-ache. Levels of anxiety or frustration going up or they might lose interest in activities or in connecting with friends. Their behavior can change and become more reckless or they can act up and withdraw from their family. Sometimes an increase in oppositional or aggressive behavior can been seen. A number of Asperger teens suddenly get poor grades even when they preformed excellent before.

In adolescence social demands for interaction with other teens become more complex. Social subtleness becomes more important and for those with Asperger Syndrome it can be hard to understand which of the other teens might want to be their friend and who to stay away from. Since they can display immaturity for their age or being socially naive they don’t seem to realize somebody is trying to take advantage of them. Asperger teens are more vulnerable and are unlikely to withstand peer pressure or manipulation. Their social skills are not sufficient to really fit in with their peers.

Being Bullied in School

Sadly Asperger children and teens are also more prone for being bullied in school. The impairments in communication, lack of knowledge of social conventions and codes takes up so much time, energy and effort for those with Asperger and are the main reason these intelligent teens are unable to connect with others. Unfortunately many of them get bullied because they behave and talk different and believe everything that is being said to them. Being naive gets them into a lot of trouble. Because teens with Asperger are not able to manipulate others they are also unable to recognize manipulation when it happens. This makes them an easy target for bullying. Always check if your child is being bullied in school and make sure all measures are taken to prevent this from happening.

What to Do?

Explain to your teen it is not his or her fault and try to get him or her set up with a study buddy or a mentor. Maybe an older student in the same school who can help asperger teens to explain what they can or can not do in order to fit in, what to wear and who to avoid.

Teens will function best when they feel good about themselves. Built their confidence and self-esteem by being positive about their asperger traits and figure out how they can benefit from it. Diets, physical activities, daily routine or even medication can help your teens feel better and maybe even prevent them from getting depressed.

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