Does behavior modification treatment help with Asperspergers

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JWRed
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16 Aug 2008, 8:13 pm

This question is from my "concerned mother".

Feel free to be honest with how you feel.



Followthereaper90
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17 Aug 2008, 3:14 am

no its not helping since asperger is not learned behaviour its in your brains


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zen_mistress
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17 Aug 2008, 4:12 am

Asperspergers?


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Ishmael
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17 Aug 2008, 4:20 am

Of course, brainwashing works! But "helps" is a matter of perspective... just ask the various low-ranking German wermacht soldiers of WWII.


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EnglishLulu
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17 Aug 2008, 7:59 am

I guess it depends what kind of behaviour modification.

Some might be helpful. But others might be extremely harmful.

Would you care to elaborate?



Callista
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17 Aug 2008, 10:40 am

Behavior modification is a BIG category. At the bottom, you have things like Lovaas-style ABA, which is reward/punishment style learning: Look at my face, and you get a cookie. Get off your chair, and you lose your free time. Et cetera. Don't recommend it; I wouldn't train a dog that way, much less a child. (Dog training should include a large element of trust, leadership, and communication. Same goes for kids, only more so.)

Then there's the behavior modification they use with more communicative kids. Star charts, stickers, check marks... Use a system to track behavior, reward good behavior. It works for some, but whenever they tried it on me, I felt like they were trying to control me. (They were, obviously.) It wasn't a good feeling, so I rebelled. I think it really only works for a child who wants to change or wants to please his parents/teachers; in that case, the rewards are there to help the child stop and think before he acts, which can be a problem with kids who are impulsive. Usually used in elementary school, maybe middle school. Works best without punishments.

Once they start to think of you as a competent adult, there's a little more leeway and, in my opinion, a lot more help. Behavioral or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, if done right, is a way to teach you to change yourself. (If done wrong, it's the therapist telling you what you need to change...) Here, you also track your progress; but the reward/punishment aspect is either gone altogether or self-administered. (For example, "If I can get an A on this test, I'll buy myself a pizza.") CBT also focuses on the thoughts and reasons behind something you want to change; the theory is that every behavior has a functional purpose; and if you fulfill that purpose some other way, you won't need whatever behavior you want to change. Just plain behavioral therapy focuses more on "triggers"--that is, things that happen right before an event--and teach you to suppress or change whatever behavior it is by watching out for triggers and trying your best. (I think CBT makes much more sense. Every behavior DOES have a reason--especially with Aspies--and if you just suppress it, then you might end up fulfilling the underlying need in a way that's even worse.)

Specifically with Asperger's, you'll probably be asked to do things like practicing social skills, dealing with overload, etc. Beware the therapist who wants to suppress stims or make you look more normal! This is generally a bad idea with Asperger's because (see above) the stims serve a purpose. If you are lucky, you will find somebody who will help you figure out why you get overloaded, and get strategies in place to deal with it when it happens and--here's the important part--prevent it before it does.

You may also work on other problems: Social anxiety; impulsivity; anger-management; self-injury; relationships with parents; study skills.

If your therapist does not treat you with respect, you will accomplish nothing; find a new one. If he does, then any problems you have with the style of therapy can be addressed simply by voicing your concerns to your therapist.

If you have trouble communicating this in speech, try writing. I have in the past written down what I needed to get across and given the paper to my counselor; this was quite effective.


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