Children with Asperger's Syndrome have an inability to relate in a normal way with their peers, their social behavior and emotions may seem inappropriate, and for this reason they are usually excluded from the group, especially at school.
In most cases their intelligence is normal or higher. They are children who show great interest and knowledge about some subjects, they have a facility for learning and a fluent language, although they sometimes use expressions that may seem pedantic.
Physically they are children like others, although they have difficulty in their movements, so much so that they can appear clumsy or uncoordinated or show tics if they are nervous. According to all these characteristics, how to facilitate the schooling of the child with Asperger's Syndrome?
They are intelligent, loving and sensitive children but, at school, the rest of the children soon identify that their behavior is different and tend to isolate them. The role of the family together with that of the educators is fundamental to achieve the well-being of the child in the center, following these guidelines:
- Parents should meet with educators when the child is going to enter school and they are provided with reports on their child's abilities, difficulties, preferences for games or activities, their routines, their interests, their motivations and what situations relax them. On the contrary, they should also explain how to calm you in stressful situations, what can upset you or what can be unbearable. It is convenient that the interviews are frequent throughout the course to be able to modify the teacher's behavior towards the child and see how it evolves.
- Teachers must be properly informed on how to proceed with the Asperger child, since scolding or punishing him for moving repeatedly can be counterproductive, as well as changing class routines or giving overly literal commands, because they don't understand them. For example, if a teacher scolds the child and says: 'Be still and don't stop looking at the book', the child may stay that way for hours.
- Gym classes can be very stressful for them since they are children with balance difficulties and also reject physical contact. In order not to frustrate them, it is necessary to assess the level of demand to be applied to them and the activities they can carry out.
- Even if they are children with normal or high intellectual capacity and who seem to have exceptional abilities such as learning to read and write at an early age, memorize texts read or repeat conversations they have heard, it does not imply that they have understood the simpler aspects of what listen or read. The teacher must make sure that the child has understood the instructions or the tasks to be carried out. It is convenient to ask easy and specific questions and literal answers should not be accepted.
- If the child has attention deficit or hyperactivity, educators should proceed as with children with ADHD: give fractioned tasks, encourage them and do not impose very long work times.
- Make sure that parents are aware of homework, exams or outings by writing it down in an agenda, even if the rest of the class does not. And it is that Asperger children lists, charts, agendas, planning help them... So they can control their activities, their duration and the daily order of them.
- Their characteristics can make them focus of jokes and jokes from other childrenFrom the school they must be very vigilant so that this does not happen. The best way is to explain to other children and their parents what these children are like and why they act like this. The collaboration of others is very important.
Girls with Asperger Syndrome have characteristics similar to boys, but softer. They have less aggressive behaviors or that interrupt the day-to-day of the class. They are more passive and learn social behaviors better from their peers.
Source: Asperger Federation Spain
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