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Caring for a child with Asperger's disorder

3-minute read

Children with Asperger’s disorder often find it hard to relate to other people. They might find it difficult to deal with social situations. Learning how best to care for a young child with Asperger’s, and knowing where to get help, can benefit both you and your child.

What is Asperger’s disorder?

Asperger’s disorder, also known as Asperger’s syndrome, was the name given to a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

Asperger’s disorder is no longer diagnosed. The term autism spectrum disorder (ASD) now includes children who were previously described as having Asperger’s, though some children may have been given this diagnosis previously or they or their parents and carers may choose to use this term. Asperger’s disorder is a collection of symptoms that a child might have. It is not all the child is or can be.

Children with Asperger’s disorder often find it hard to communicate. Some kids are affected more than others. Each child is different but they might:

  • be obsessed with certain topics or subjects
  • show little interest in other people
  • find it hard to make and keep friends
  • have advanced language skills for their age
  • have trouble expressing their own feelings
  • find it hard to understand non-verbal communication
  • have problems working out what other people are thinking or feeling

Children who have Asperger’s disorder might be aware of some of this, and might find it frustrating. It’s not clear what causes Asperger’s in children. It’s likely that genes play a part.

Learn more about child development. Visit the healthdirect website for more information on Asperger's disorder.

What to do if your child has Asperger’s disorder

If your child has been diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder or autism spectrum disorder, it is important to get help and support as soon as possible.

A tailored early childhood intervention program can help your child to communicate more effectively and become less frustrated. It can also help them grow and develop, reduce difficult behaviour, and cope better at childcare facilities, pre-school and while preparing for school.

How to care for a child with Asperger’s disorder

Caring for children with Asperger’s can be challenging. It can affect siblings or other children in positive and negative ways and disrupt family life.

You might try comforting your child by teaching them breathing techniques or playing relaxing music.

It’s good to work as part of a team alongside health professionals. Your child might benefit from:

  • speech and language therapy, to help them communicate better
  • occupational therapy, to help them deal with everyday activities
  • psychological therapy, to help with social skills and regulate emotions and stress
  • support to ease the transition to school

What help is available?

There are programs available that provide skills and support for parents of children with Asperger’s.

More information

The following websites have more information about young children, Asperger's disorder and autism:

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: October 2019

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Need more information?

Asperger syndrome

What is Asperger Syndrome?

Read more on WA Health website

Asperger’s disorder signs and symptoms | Raising Children Network

What is Asperger’s disorder? Children with Asperger’s have trouble with social interaction and social cues, but they might have strong language skills.

Read more on website

Signs of autism | Autism Awareness Australia

Autism can be diagnosed at any age. So here's a list of typical signs of autism for toddlers, preschoolers, school children and adults.

Read more on Autism Awareness Australia website

Find your state autism association | Raising Children Network

Australian autism associations support parents raising a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Use our guide to find your state autism association.

Read more on website

Autism & behaviour | Raising Children Network

Need help with behaviour for autistic children? Get information to help with difficult behaviour, anxiety, confidence and more.

Read more on website

Autism communicating & relationships | Raising Children Network

Autistic children have trouble communicating. Our resources can help you build relationships and improve communication.

Read more on website

Autism therapies & services | Raising Children Network

Need info on therapies and services for autistic children and teenagers? Find videos and articles on interventions, financial support and more.

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Communication in children with autism | Raising Children Network

For children with autism, communication develops step by step, so you can work step by step with your child on communication difficulties. Find out how.

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Autism & disability services for children | Raising Children Network

Disability services can be confusing. Our guide to services for children with disability, autism and other additional needs helps you navigate the system.

Read more on website

Social skills for children with autism | Raising Children Network

Children with autism take longer than others to learn social skills. Strategies like role-play and video-modelling can help your child learn these skills.

Read more on website

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This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

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