Top Ten Surprises About Teens on the Autism Spectrum by Fred Frankel

Fred Frankel, author of Social Skills for Students with Autism/Asperger’s: Helping Adolescents on the Spectrum to Fit In, shares with us the top ten surprises about teens on the Autism Spectrum:

1. Teens on the autism spectrum often use formal and detailed-oriented language, which may give the impression that they are more knowledgeable than they actually are.

2. Far from being “aloof,” many want to have friends and be a part of their social world.

3. Far from being insensitive to the rejection of others, teens on the spectrum may feel increased anxiety and have decreased ability to function.

4. As many as 75% of these teens also have an anxiety order.

5. Due to their overwhelming anxiety, if you try to talk to a teen on the Spectrum during a meltdown, they will become even more distressed.

6. Perhaps as may as 75% of teens on the spectrum are bullied by other students.

7. They may seem abrupt in ending conversations, but actually they don’t know how to do it gracefully.

8. Teens on the Spectrum may have trouble understanding non-literal language–such as hints and approximate times (e.g., come back later).

9. Many teens on the spectrum have trouble telling even a “white lie.”

10. Many have a lot to offer their peers, if they are able to overcome their anxiety and figure out how to fit in.

Fred Frankel Ph.D, is one of the world’s leading experts on solving childrens’ problems with social skills. He’s director of the world renowned UCLA Parent Training & Childrens’ Social Skills Programs and also a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, where he teaches and trains hundreds of pediatricians, psychologists, social workers, and child psychiatrists. Dr. Frankel is the “go-to” expert for friendship problems and peer relationships among children from toddlers to teenagers, with frequent appearances in print media (Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, Parents Magazine, Child Magazine, Redbook, Working Woman) and on NPR. He also conducts frequent trainings and workshops for parents and professionals in the field.

Click HERE to learn more about Social Skills Success for Students with Autism / Asperger’s: Helping Adolescents on the Spectrum to Fit In.


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