Aspergers Teen Talks About "Anxiety-Reduction"

Social Story for Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

Daniel, a teenager with High-Functioning Autism, talks about how he reduces his anxiety symptoms:



Daniel's technique for reducing stress: 

To reduce my anxiety, I set aside a period of about 20 minutes each day to devote to relaxation. I remove distractions as much as possible. For example, I turn off the sound on my computer and the ringer on my cell phone.

During the 20-minute period, I remain as still as you can. I focus my thoughts on the immediate moment, and eliminate any outside thoughts that compete for my attention. I try to notice which parts of my body feel relaxed, and which feel tense.

As I go through these steps, I try to imagine that every muscle in my body is becoming relaxed and free of tension. I picture all the muscles in my body beginning to go loose and limp.

I concentrate on making my breathing slow and even. Each time I exhale, I picture my muscles becoming even more relaxed, as if with each breath, I breathe the tension away.

At the end of 20 minutes, I take a few moments to focus on the feelings and sensations I have been able to achieve. I notice whether areas that felt tense now feel looser, and whether any areas of tightness remain.

Some Aspies find that repeating a word or phrase, or singing, praying, or focusing their vision on an object or flickering light source (like a candle or fireplace) helps them achieve a more relaxed state of mind.

If you try this relaxation technique I just described, don't be surprised if the relaxed feeling begins to fade once you get up and return to your normal activities. However, many Aspergers teens find that after just a few weeks of daily, consistent practice, they are able to maintain the relaxed feeling beyond the practice session.

Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

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What Are Social Stories?

Social stories” describe situations, skills, or concepts that model relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses. The goal of a social story is to teach specific skills in a manner that is easily understood by children with Aspergers and other Autism Spectrum Disorders. The child’s improved understanding of social events and expectations that result from reading/watching social stories often leads to more effective responses from the child.

Social stories for children with behavior problems due to Aspergers and other Autism Spectrum Disorders help teach more appropriate social skills. These children don't just “pick-up” social skills, so social stories can provide a great tool in teaching a skill in a direct way.

Social stories for these children help to give them a better understanding of other people's thoughts, feelings and views. They also help the child to better predict other people’s behavior based on their actions.

Social stories present various situations in a structured and direct way so that the child can understand a situation without having to "read between the lines". Social stories are written from the child's perspective and are simply illustrated using uncluttered drawings or photographs to depict each step of the story.

Social stories can be written about many different social and behavioral situations that children encounter in the school or any other environment. Some possible ideas for social stories include:

• circle time
• getting in line
• sharing toys
• sitting in the lunch room
• taking turns on the swings
• taking turns when playing games
• or any other situation that causes confusion for the child

=> How To Write Social Stories

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