If your child has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, you may be struggling to help him or her cope with some of the symptoms. Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate effectively and socialize with other people. Generally, children and teens with Asperger’s syndrome are socially awkward and have a consuming interest in one or two very specific topics. Asperger’s syndrome is considered to be on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), a group of disorders that involve varying degrees of social skill and communication impairment. While there is no specific cure for Asperger’s syndrome, with the right combination of therapeutic interventions and self-care activities, children and teens with this disorder are able to learn ways to better interact in social situations.
Millcreek Behavioral Health has provided care for countless children and adolescents for nearly three decades. We offer two residential treatment options designed to help children and teens struggling with a variety of emotional, behavioral, and other disorders through a multidisciplinary treatment team that specializes in the care of adolescents and children. Through our care, our residents will learn ways to make better choices in all parts of their life – throughout their entire lives.
How to Help a Friend or Loved One Seek Treatment
As a parent, facing the possibility that your child or teen may have Asperger’s syndrome, can be upsetting and terrifying as you are left worrying about what the future will hold for your child. You may be at a loss for what you can do to help your child. If you are concerned that your child may be suffering with Asperger’s syndrome here are some signs to look out for:
- Long-winded, one-sided conversations
- Unusual nonverbal expressions
- Intense obsession with one or two very specific topics
- Difficulty displaying empathy or regard for another person’s feelings
- Intense difficulties changing the very strict routines he or she has created
If you notice these symptoms in your child, it’s important that he or she receive a professional evaluation by a mental healthcare professional. When approaching the idea of treatment for your child, here are some ways you can approach the subject:
- Learn about Asperger’s syndrome by researching the disorder so that you can best understand your child’s behavior
- Remember: this isn’t the end of the world. While a diagnosis such as Asperger’s syndrome can be frightening for you, this disorder can be managed and your child can learn the skills needed to lead a happy, productive life
- Understand the treatment – take time to research local treatment options and ways your child can best acquire the skills he or she needs to be successful in life
- Find a team of trusted professionals
- Find support
Why Seek Treatment at Millcreek Behavioral Health?
If your child has Asperger’s syndrome, he or she is probably facing a number of challenges fitting in and being accepted by peers. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome have a strong need for routine and if something occurs that changes their routine they can react badly because it causes them to feel insecure. Additionally, children with this disorder have a hard time understanding social curs and boundaries. They may misinterpret others’ signals or violate otherwise understood rules and for example stand too close to someone. This often creates problems when interacting with individuals who do not understand your child. While your child may be facing many of these challenges, there is help available.
Studies show that one of the best ways to treat Asperger’s syndrome and any co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, include a residential treatment center that incorporates a number of therapeutic interventions. In a residential treatment center, your child will be able to escape the pressures of his or her daily life and focus entirely upon recovery and education in a therapeutic setting with those who have similar challenges. Through the highly-structured approach to care offered by a residential treatment center, your child will learn adaptive ways to function in daily life, acquire and practice social skills, and discover strengths deep within them.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
For over 25 years, Millcreek Behavioral Health has been helping children and adolescents learn to lead healthier, more productive lives. Millcreek is a leading care provider or specialty mental health care services for children and teens struggling with emotional, cognitive, and behavioral problems. As a progressive approach with a unique emphasis upon education and treatment, we aim to meet the challenges of a changing world. Our multidisciplinary team of experts in the field of child and adolescent health offer scientifically-validated treatment approaches that instills both family and community values in each person and family we meet. The rewards of our work are clearly reflected in the lives of the children we serve, the values we promote, and the hearts of the people we touch.
Treatment Options Offered at Millcreek Behavioral Health
When your child first comes to Millcreek, he or she will undergo a thorough diagnostic and psychiatric evaluation to help us determine and identify present diagnoses and treatment needs. Our multidisciplinary treatment team will take the results of the evaluations and sit down with you and your child to work out a master treatment plan, which will be reviewed by a psychiatrist before implementation. This master treatment plan will identify goals and objectives for treatment within each problem area including specific interventions aimed at returning your child to his or her maximum level of functioning. Our treatment program is made up of four different phases, each of which must be completed before the child moves onto the next phase. Some of the treatment modalities we use at Millcreek may include:
Medication: While there is no medication that specifically treats Asperger’s syndrome, there are a number of medications used because they help improve some of the specific symptoms, such as anxiety or depression, which can occur in children with Asperger’s. All medication will be monitored closely by the treatment team and adjusted as necessary.
Group therapy is held each day and will include a wide variety of topics. Group therapy topics may include self-soothing behaviors, coping skills, independent living, social skills training, and activities of daily living.
Education: Each child or teen in our program is enrolled in school through Millcreek Schools, Inc. Education services are much similar as those offered in the public school system. Residents are required to attend daily school and all credits earned will transfer back to the child or teen’s public school.
Recreational therapy: As Millcreek believes in treating the whole child, not simply the symptoms of a mental health disorder, we offer a number of recreational activities designed to help develop and reinforce coping skills for socialization. Some of these activates may include sports, creative arts, adventure programming, and leisure.
Depending upon the master treatment plan in addition to unique treatment, residents may also participate in the following interventions:
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
As the time approaches for your child to leave our residential program, you and your child will work with a case manager to determine next steps of care for your child. Many children leave us as they age out of our program so we can help you enter a waiver program – an environment with in-home services to provide daily skills care. We will also work with you and your child to determine appropriate outpatient treatment providers and available community resources so that your child continues to grow, learn, and heal.