Aspergers Kids Are In A World Of Their Own

"My 10 year old daughter has been diagnosed with Aspergers. It is a constant struggle to get her to pay attention or to even look at me. She seems in a world of her own sometimes. Any suggestions?"

Adults who are diagnosed with Aspergers have suggested that it is easier for them to make eye contact if they don’t have to listen. Some describe situations where having to make eye contact causes breaks in their concentration. So clearly there are some problems for individuals with Aspergers if they have to do more than one task like this at the same time (i.e., eye contact and listening).

It is also difficult for a youngster with Aspergers to understand what a person is communicating through eye contact. Others actually describe the experience of having to make eye contact as frightening.

It is important to recognize that Aspergers is a neurological disorder (caused by a medical problem with the brain) and the youngster is not choosing to behave this way. In fact it may well be a way of the youngster coping with their environment.

You can create a conducive environment by:

1. Frequent breaks - Allow her to take frequent breaks, or break work into small blocks; she will be able to perform better.

2. Minimizing distractions - Minimize the distractions for your daughter, provide direction in simple one-two step directions and provide ample times and cues (verbal and/or visual) for completing the task.

3. Providing structure - Providing structure to her day and routines, where the same activities occur at the same time every day, will let her know what to expect.

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