Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


Teaching Aspergers Students Using Visual Imagery

"What would be the most important teaching strategy to use with my Aspergers students?" 

The short answer is: capitalize on the child's natural visual-thinking skills...

Children with Aspergers Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism often think differently than other children. They often have what is known as 'visual thinking'. While many of us think in words or abstractly, Aspergers kids think in pictures and films playing in their head.

They have a difficult time seeing a generic representation of, say, a cat, and instead recall exact images of cats they have seen. Some researchers believe that the way Aspergers people think is a good way of compensating for losses in 'language thinking'. This is what often makes these kids good at building things and seeing the end product of something before it is done.

Using this visual thinking to an advantage can help parents and teachers educate Aspergers students better. Teaching them through videos, pictures and other visual aids can help them learn while getting around the areas they have trouble with.

One Aspergers student stated, “I think totally in pictures. It is like playing different DVDs in a DVD player in my imagination.” Many Aspergers children and teens can manipulate the pictures in their imagination, which helps them to learn different things. To access spoken information, they can be taught to replay a “video image” of the person talking to them. In some cases, this represents a slower way of thinking, but it generally gets the job done.

Visual thinking often puts people with Aspergers in jobs that involve architecture or design. Not only is their visual learning superior, but their learning memory is more intact than other ways of remembering things. Many Aspergers individuals can create elaborate visual images of things as complex as computer programs and musical pieces, and then can fill in the rest of their knowledge around that. The thinking is often non-sequential so that pieces of knowledge are filled in like jigsaw puzzle pieces in no particular order.

When parents and teachers catch on to this method of thinking, it becomes easier to see the strengths the Aspergers student has -- and it becomes easier to find ways of using the visual imagery to teach concepts.

Teaching Students with Aspergers and HFA


Anonymous said...

This is really interesting, I have never considered if I think visually or in words, as a dancer I pick up movement sequences like a machine, but I have a hard time recalling other information, like the title of a book I just finished or the name of a band. At school I did well at things I could see.. bar charts, but mental maths is still not there.
Do these things make sense or am I way off the mark??

Aspergers myself and doing my best to help my aspergers son.

Nosaabinhere said...

My aspie son is a kinesthetic learner. He has been able to take a couple of college classes, but with much difficulty. I feel his time is running out at the community college because they are not geared for this scenario.
Any suggestions where to go from here? ROP classes don't fit the bill for what his goals are. (computer game or video design)

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content