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Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome and Parenting Strategies (page 3)

By — MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome
Updated on Dec 8, 2010

Education

If the child with Asperger Syndrome is to be educated in a mainstream school it is important that the correct amount of support is made available. In order to get the correct support a Statement of Special Educational Needs should be drawn up from the various advice's supplied by you and the specialists. This procedure, when it begins, can take 6 months and be a very stressful and confusing time - don't be afraid to contact people who can help, this need not be a professional it may just be someone who has done it all before.

It is beneficial if the school of your choice is willing to learn about the difficulties that they and the child will face, some schools are better than other on this score. Looking at several schools will give a better picture of exactly what is available. The support currently offered in mainstream school is by Special Support Assistants (SSA) for a certain number of hours each week based on the child's needs in order to help the child access the curriculum and develop in a social setting. A support teacher with specialist knowledge of Autism should support the child, SSA, teacher and school in understanding and teaching the child. Other professional input may also be required such as speech and language therapy to help develop skills.

The home/school link is vital, a diary can prove invaluable giving two way communication on achievements and problems on a regular basis.

Helpful Strategies

There are many things you can do to help your child better understand the world and in doing so make everyone's lives a little easier. The ideas below are only suggestions which you may or may not find helpful.
  • Keep all your speech simple - to a level they understand.
  • Keep instructions simple ... for complicated jobs use lists or pictures.
  • Try to get confirmation that they understand what you are talking about/or asking - don't rely on a stock yes or no - that they like to answer with.
  • Explain why they should look at you when you speak to them.... encourage them, give lots of praise for any achievement - especially when they use a social skill without prompting.
  • In some young children who appear not to listen - the act of 'singing' your words can have a beneficial effect.
  • Limit any choices to two or three items.
  • Limit their 'special interest' time to set amounts of time each day if you can.
  • Use turn taking activities as much as possible, not only in games but at home too.
  • Pre-warn them of any changes, and give warning prompts if you want them to finish a task... 'when you have coloured that in we are going shopping'.
  • Try to build in some flexibility in their routine, if they learn early that things do change and often without warning - it can help.
  • Don't always expect them to 'act their age' they are usually immature and you should make some allowances for this.
  • Try to identify stress triggers - avoid them if possible -be ready to distract with some alternative 'come and see this...' etc.
  • Find a way of coping with behavior problems - perhaps trying to ignore it if it's not too bad or hugging sometimes can help.
  • Promises and threats you make will have to be kept - so try not to make them too lightly.
  • Teach them some strategies for coping - telling people who are teasing perhaps to 'go away' or to breathe deeply and count to 20 if they feel the urge to cry in public.
  • Begin early to teach the difference between private and public places and actions, so that they can develop ways of coping with more complex social rules later in life.
  • Let them know that you love them - wart's an' all' - and that you are proud of them. It can be very easy with a child who rarely speaks not to tell them all the things you feel inside.

  Remember, they are children just like the rest, they have their own personalities, abilities, likes and dislikes - they just need extra support, patience and understanding from everyone around them.

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