Asperger’s Syndrome is classified under the spectrum of Autistic disorders. These children’s specific strengths and weaknesses should be taken carefully into consideration when planning activities to assist their learning and recreational development.
Some of the areas where children with Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulties in are communication, social interaction and some also have difficulty with motor co-ordination and some display severe hypersensitivity to touch, smell and sound.
Children with Asperger’s Syndrome differ a lot from those with Autism as they are not necessarily withdrawn, but their social interaction is awkward. They demonstrate a lack of empathy in social interactions and it is seen as the most dysfunctional aspect of this syndrome. They understand social norms and behavior but it is more of a clinical understanding than an ability to genuinely display it.
The question as to if people with Asperger’s Syndrome can really be classified as disabled or if they should just be classified as different, has been raised many times.
Parents and educators can use a variety of tools, games and activities to assist these children.
Toys and Activities
They enjoy activities and toys that include shapes and color. Toys that involve building are also very valuable. Jigsaw puzzles and Lego block are favorites. Computer games and interactive videos can be of great help. It is necessary to explain the social behavior and the interaction between the characters in the video to the child. As social interactions and their inability to understand empathy is one of the major aspects of Asperger’s syndrome, enough time should be spend to clarify these for the child. Take the age of the child into consideration when doing this. There are certain behavior patterns that children of a certain age can’t understand no matter if they have Asperger’s Syndrome or not.
Books with interactive components are very effective. Look for something with an interesting and different texture and lots of colors. Pop-up books are also very popular. Teach the child vocabulary as well as social behavior by using the characters in the book.
Children with Asperger’s syndrome can be highly intelligent or at least of normal intelligence. Unfortunately, there are situations in a school that can be counteractive to their ability to learn effectively in a mainstream classroom. The entire school from principal to the teacher’s assistant should understand what Asperger’s syndrome is and how to deal with it. Classes should be small as Asperger’s Syndrome children can be sensitive to a noise which again can lead to stress and difficult behavior. Because these children battle with social skills they can easily fall victim to bullying. It is necessary as a parent and educator to be aware of this.
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