Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


Teaching The Aspergers Mind

"I’d love to see some information about how to teach in a way that an Asperger’s mind will absorb, particularly rote facts such as math measurements and such. I’d also love more information about teaching basic social skills, manners, and social graces."

Children with Asperger's and High Functioning Autism have excellent rote memories and often show intense interest in one or two intellectual areas, such as math, transportation, history, or the characters in a television series.

Sometimes the special interest is so absorbing that they ignore all other subjects. They learn every fact about the chosen topic and talk about it endlessly, whether or not their listeners are interested. The child may have little understanding of the meaning of these facts. But, if you can tie rote information into the area of interest, you may find it easy to teach him or her - and the learning will be remembered. For example, if the child is interested in transportation, you might be able to involve him in measuring the length of railroad tracks or distances airplanes travel on various routes.

Often using a computer and rote learning computer games helps Asperger's kids retain factual information. Surprisingly, they often respond well to flash cards and other rote teaching methods also. Some are very good with visual memory and remember things they read or see on charts very well.

Etiquette and social graces are like a foreign language to kids with Asperger's. Social skills, such as saying “Hi” or “Good morning” or looking others in the eyes when conversing, are often taught by communication specialists or in social training groups. Imitating and practicing new skills in situations which are as realistic as possible is very effective. Skills-training includes:
  • learning nonverbal behaviors, such as using appropriate hand gestures, smiling, and verbal behaviors
  • interpretation of nonverbal behaviors of others
  • processing of visual information with auditory information
  • social awareness

Another idea for teaching social skills is to set a weekly or monthly goal. The goal is to learn a specific skill and be able to apply it in a variety of situations. Here is the procedure:
  1. Decide which skill you would like the child to learn, for example responding to the question “What’s new?”
  2. Teach the child the question/skill and several possible responses. Explain that there are many ways to respond. Model lots of options.
  3. Involve family, friends, and school staff in setting up situations that require practicing the skill.
  4. Develop a plan for how the questioner should prompt or respond, if the child doesn’t respond correctly.
  5. Keep track of the child’s responses to see if he/she uses the skill consistently.
  6. Use a lot of praise for appropriate behavior, especially when it is used without prompting.

The Asperger's child may form friendships with others who share his interests. Computer or math clubs, science fairs, Star Trek clubs, etc. are possible avenues to consider. Many of these children will develop coping and social interaction skills, and the ability to “fit in” as a result. For those that don’t, counseling and social “training” may help.

Teaching Students with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism


Anonymous said...

One thing that would be great a place where parents could put their kids age/gender and area...and match kids up in their area. Aspies have a very hard time making friends except with "like minded" kids. Setting up "play dates" would be a great resource for these kids.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. My son now has a great group of friends, most of whom are aspies, but it took a loooong time for him to find friends.

Anonymous said...

My son plays very well with Aspie kids I think they understand each other very well. When he plays with other kids which is very rare they pick on him or they have him do things that they know you can get in trouble for. When he does these things he thinks these kids are his best friend and doesn't understand why they would try to get him in trouble.

Anonymous said...

We are going through the same thing. My son has friends but then the play dates don't always go the way they were planned. Hopefully after the testing is done we can get some more support and build more social skills.

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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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content