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Aspergers Kids and Homework Challenges

Kids with Aspergers Need Routine and Clarity!

Aspergers (high functioning autism) disrupts a youngster’s ability to recognize social cues, thereby causing social awkwardness. Other characteristics of autism may also be present, such as a lowered tolerance for new situations or sudden transitions, lack of organizational skills, inconsistent energy levels, and high distractibility. All of these can present challenges when attempting to complete homework.

Luckily, there are some basic strategies that moms and dads can undertake to help prevent those dreaded evening meltdowns. The first step is to observe the youngster and see what hinders her from completing her work. This is paramount to planning homework sessions. During these observations, jot down answers to the following about the youngster:

1. Does she fatigue quickly?
2. Is she easily distracted by noise or activity?
3. What frustrates or upsets her?
4. What is her best time of day?

Establish Consistent Time and Place—

After observing the youngster for a few days, establish a consistent time for homework, preferably when she is well fed and at her best. The amount of time she spends on homework nightly will vary by grade level. When homework length begins to increase, she may stay more focused with short breaks. Incorporate these into the schedule and make sure she has enough time to complete assignments without rushing.

It is beneficial to have a special homework location away from the TV, radio, or other distractions. Kids with Aspergers can also be frustrated by clutter, so make sure that the workspace is organized and that all necessary materials for homework are available and easy to find.

Break Down Large Assignments—

Some homework assignments can be overwhelming for kids with Aspergers. Moms and dads will sometimes need to work closely with their youngster to help her get started. Providing one or two examples may be all that is required in some instances. For more complicated work, moms and dads may want to demonstrate how to break it down into smaller steps. This added attention may be needed for each unfamiliar assignment.

Eliminate Vagueness—

Sometimes assignments may be unclear, even to moms and dads. If this happens often, it would be best for moms and dads to communicate with the teacher about their youngster’s needs. Receiving more detailed instructions for upcoming assignments will go a long way to ensuring that homework gets done correctly and without tantrums. The key is to get the information ahead of time so that the youngster with Aspergers can be prepared, not surprised with an unknown.

Incorporate Interests—

A unique quality of kids with Aspergers is that they can develop abnormally intense interests in one or two subjects. Common ones may include weather, sports statistics, or computers. Using a little ingenuity, moms and dads can persuade the youngster to do seemingly unrelated work by integrating her interests.

Kids fascinated by computers may be encouraged to complete writing assignments using an online dictionary, for instance. Kids who have nightly reading requirements could be allowed to choose books that are related to weather, dinosaurs, or other science topics of interest. If the youngster seems to dislike math, create word problems for practicing addition, subtraction, and multiplication using subjects such as baseball or cars.

Kids with Aspergers possess unique skills and can grow to be highly productive, thriving members of society. But, like everyone, they face their own set of challenges along the way. Homework may be one of those challenges. With careful planning however, moms and dads can make this necessary and important chore less worrisome and help to pave their youngster’s way to success.

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