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

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

Search MyAspergersChild.com

Part 9: Teaching Strategies for Students with Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism – Poor Concentration

Kids with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA):
  • are easily distracted by internal stimuli
  • are often off task
  • are very disorganized
  • have difficulty figuring out what is relevant, so attention is focused on irrelevant stimuli
  • have difficulty learning in a group situation
  • have difficulty sustaining focus on classroom activities (often it is not that the attention is poor but, rather, that the focus is "odd")
  • tend to withdraw into complex inner worlds in a manner much more intense than is typical of daydreaming

Programming Suggestions for Teachers:

1. Work out a nonverbal signal with the AS or HFA youngster (e.g., a gentle pat on the shoulder) for times when he is not paying attention.

2. Actively encourage the youngster to leave her inner thoughts and fantasies behind and refocus on the real world. This is a constant battle, as the comfort of that inner world is much more attractive than anything in real life. For these “special needs” kids, even free play needs to be structured, because they can become so immersed in solitary, ritualized fantasy play that they lose touch with reality.

3. Seat the youngster at the front of the class and direct frequent questions to him to help him attend to the lesson.

4. AS and HFA kids with severe concentration problems benefit from timed work sessions. This helps them organize themselves. Classwork that is not completed within the time limit (or that is done carelessly) must be made up during the youngster's own time (i.e., during recess or during the time used for pursuit of special interests).

5. Young people on the autism spectrum can sometimes be stubborn. Therefore, they need firm expectations and a structured program that teaches them that compliance with rules leads to positive reinforcement. Such programs motivate the youngster to be productive, thus enhancing self-esteem and lowering stress levels, because the youngster sees herself as competent.

6. In the case of mainstreamed AS and HFA students, poor concentration, slow clerical speed, and severe disorganization may make it necessary to lessen the homework load, classwork load, and provide time in a resource room where a special education teacher can offer the additional structure the youngster needs to complete classwork and homework. Some kids with AS and HFA are so unable to concentrate that it places undue stress on moms and dads to expect that they spend hours each night trying to get through homework with their youngster.

7. If a buddy system is used, sit the AS or HFA youngster's buddy next to him so the buddy can remind the youngster to return to task or listen to the lesson.

8. Encouraging the youngster with AS and HFA to play a board game with one or two others under close supervision not only structures play, but offers an opportunity to practice social skills.

9. A tremendous amount of regimented external structure must be provided if the youngster with AS and HFA is to be productive in the classroom. Assignments should be broken down into small units, and frequent teacher feedback and redirection should be offered.

Teaching Students with Aspergers and HFA

No comments:

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here for the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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."

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article...

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.

Click here
to read the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content