HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

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Aspergers Students: Completing School Assignments On Time

Question

My Aspergers child’s teachers complain about the fact that it takes him longer to finish an assignment. How can I help him work faster so he does not fall behind in his assignments?

Answer

Teachers often complain about the slow work pace of students with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism. The lack of language skills plays a part, as well as the student’s physical limitations due to the lack of fine motor skills. The student’s handwriting skills are probably awkward and clumsy, thus slowing him down. Poor organizational skills interfere with the student’s ability to produce timely assignments. In addition, many children with Aspergers are perfectionists bordering on obsessive behaviors. This causes control issues.

The slow pace problem is often addressed in the student’s education plan. The student is offered reduced workload, additional time for most assignments, reading assistance during testing, and occupational therapy exercises to improve fine motor skills such as handwriting. The first thing you can do is to make sure your child has these special accommodations in place to help him become a successful student.

Here are some additional ideas for you:

• Take steps to control obsessive behaviors. Unfortunately, these behaviors are common in children with Aspergers. They can take control and cause many problems. Learn and perform behavior modification techniques for obsessive and/or compulsive issues.

• Remember the importance of routine. Your child performs best when he has a set and regular routine. Work to make his home time a seamless, structured continuation of his school day. It may seem like too much to you, but children with Aspergers attain great comfort, thus becoming more productive, when the routine is rigid.

• Practice fine motor skills exercises and handwriting regularly. Practice will help increase his handwriting speed. With added speed, he can finish assignments faster. Taking notes during class will become easier for him.

• Organizational skills are necessary for independence. Learning time management techniques, thought process control, as well as basic organizational skills like keeping a daily calendar, creating written lists, and using other visual aids will help our child become more productive.

Complaining teachers can increase your child’s anxiety levels. Since children with Aspergers are likely to suffer from anxiety, this negative input is sure to have an effect on your child. Behavior modification, therapy, or medication may be needed to control anxiety due to academic pressure. Taking steps to deal with your child’s weaknesses will improve the situation. In addition, it would not hurt to schedule a meeting to remind your child’s complaining teachers about his educational limitations.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Uh...the school needs to make allowances for him because the more research you do, the more you realize you cant speed up the process caue that is how the Asperger brain works. ANd the school should know it and make accopmodations for assignements, testing, quizes, and other things because your child is smart...his brain just takes the long way for it to come out! Do not allow the school to for one min think he can or should SPEED UP....it will cause unnecessary anxiety for him!

Anonymous said...

You may not be able to "make" him work faster. Does he have an IEP or 504? My 11 yr old Aspie's teacher lets him finish work at home. For certain projects she also allows for an extention on the deadline.

Anonymous said...

Yup, school needs to work with your child and if he has an IEP, accomodations for completion time for work needs to be accounted for if it is due to his challenge of requiring time for completion, not due to stubborness.

Anonymous said...

its not up to the child to speed up.its up to the teacher to be patient + understand.

Anonymous said...

Any school who thinks you can teach an aspie or autistic child to learn or work faster, obviously doesnt know crap about it and really needs more education!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree. Be sure your child has an IEP. As a result of him being an awesome aspie the school should make allowances and accommodate him. My son also sees an occupational therapist at the school which helps him with his motor skills.... It is a process.

Anonymous said...

Your child's teacher needs to give her head a shake, stop complaining and actually do her damn job and teach! So it takes longer, Aspergers is NOT the problem, the child is NOT the problem the problem is an intollerant school system. The problem is idiotic teachers who lack the comapssion and patience to build up the child and a failing school system that functions on an outdated teaching model that doesn't meet the needs of 85% of the children in the school system. I gave up all aspirations of a career in 2003 to support my special needs children. I made all the mistakes of trying to conform my expectations to suit the teachers and the school system. I parented harsher than I wanted to to suit the school. I now have one kid with an eating disporder and another who has given up trying. they are now 15 and 14 and I have done an about face. It is the school who needs to support my kids , I need to support my kids and the school system needs to accomodate them. The teacher needs to be the one to work with your child in school to help him not fall behind instad of sitting at her desk having a coffee while the students work independantly. ( I can't count how many time I walked into a class room and saw this.) not all teachers are lazy, I have met a few outstanding teachers, but far too many of them are in it for the salary and only

Anonymous said...

Twice as much time, half as much done is the concept. The teacher needs to comply with THAT!

Anonymous said...

My 13 yr old aspie son has an amazing teacher. If he cannot get an assignment finished in school she sends it home. If he completely forgets that he has an assignment she will call me or email me to let me know what it is on. Most times she gives me my own copy of the assignment so that if he forgets then I have a copy here for him. The school also gave me a copy of all his text books and work books. All of his teachers keep in constant contact with me on progress.

Anonymous said...

Also make sure to push for those things that will make your child's life easier. Extra computer time, typing lessons. My oldest son who is Aspbergers has terrible hand printing, very poor muscle control for writing I finally forced CCAC to teach him cursive script and forced the school to accomodate him with teaching him to type early. Most of these kids can type if they are taught and the typing motion will help strenghten the hand. I don't know how many times I've pointed out that I'm supposed to be the "stupid parent" I never finished college and yet I'm giving concise, common-sense ideas to help my child that some of these people should have thought of on their own.

Anonymous said...

Test him for other diseases...like Lyme Disease...then treat if he has that too. His functioning will improve.

Anonymous said...

So many good replies here. It has taken us 2 years to try and get my son the assistance he needs and some of teachers still don't get it. I know it's frustrating to deal with, but just think how the Aspie child feels and tries to cope.

Anonymous said...

My 6th grade son takes longer to do some of his work because it has to look perfect. He obsesses over the fact that it has to look just this way! In his IEP they allow him to have extra time if needed. On the upside - the teacher is always impressed when he turns his his work! We are very lucky that my child goes to a school who does fantastic work with ASD kids, and any other special education needs for any student. I would go to the school and say this is what my child needs and as his teacher, this is what you are going to do for him!!! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

If parents run into these kinds of situations, I recommend getting in contact with their local Parent Training center. All services are free and we are nationwide. We can meet with parents to review the IEP to ensure it provides for the child based on their needs as an INDIVIDUAL! That IS what an IEP is all about! If anyone needs info for their local Parent Training center, please leave a comment on our page. Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

Teachers give my son leeway to finish in school assignments at home and turn them in the next day. it is a partial solution to the problem..

Anonymous said...

I think the teachers need to chill out and quit expecting so much of the kids. Let them follow their special interests and obsessions unfettered, and they'll rule the world. Try to force them to conform to neurotypical study habits and to be "balanced," and you'll get very frustrated, angry and self-doubting kids. This is coming from an AS mom of an AS daughter. I know I can't change the schools but I can change what I expect of my daughter. If she gets bad grades but is happy and successful in a trade related to her special interest someday, I will be happy for her. I think parents need to be proactive on this one and not pressure their kids so much. Just because the schools pressure the kids, as long as they are passing and getting the services they need, we don't need to add additional pressure. I know how hard this is and I have just mellowed out with her about it. If she takes too long or can't finish an assignment I write a note to the teacher saying how long she took and how hard she worked on it.

Anonymous said...

The article makes an important point about how complaining teachers cause anxiety in AS children that slows them down. Parents shouldn't add to that by reinforcing the teacher's complaints at home.

Unknown said...

I am a teacher and would like some advice. I have a student in class with Asperger's. He works very slowly and cannot finish an assignment in the class time alloted. I have no problem with allowing him to take the work home, but what if it is something that we are going over in class and discussing, then moving on to another lesson? I'm talking about reading a passage and answering 5 multiple choice questions. Do I allow him to sit through the answers and the discuss and turn his paper in the next day? Do I not worry about the benefits of him joining in on the discussion and taking part in the activities the rest of the class does? Suggestions would be most welcome. I want to give this child the best possible education.

Unknown said...

I have an Asperger's student in one of my classes, and I need some advice. He takes an especially long time to finish any assignment, and I have no problem with letting him take it home to finish. What I am not sure about is what to do when it is a relatively short assignment (reading passage followed by 5 multiple choice questions or 5 vocabulary sentences) that is assigned and then grade/discussed afterward during the same class period. Do I let him sit through the answers and the discussion and still take the assignment home to finish? Do I not worry about what he might miss from participating/being included in a class discussion? Any suggestions are welcome. I want to give ALL children in my class the best education possible.

Unknown said...

Ive had so much trouble with my sons school.. even after getting him an iep they let him take home his work till 3rd grade then they started taking away his recessess, and making him stand while doing work.. my sons super sweet he started having axiety in 3rd grade and acid reflux. No matter how much i worked with the school and offered my time all i got was complaints, and he told his teacher to stop treating him like an animal.. i withdrew him and now hes homeschooled.. its not an option for everyone. But i have not met a teacher or school that will ever understand.. instead now we are rebuilding lost confidiance, he cried everyday after school.. its been two months of home schooling and hes happy and thriving. Hes as god has made him and hes perfect..

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