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Asperger's Syndrome - Home Treatment

You can best serve your child by learning about Asperger's syndrome and providing a supportive and loving home environment. Remember that your child, just like every other child, has his or her own strengths and weaknesses and needs as much support, patience, and understanding as you can give.

Educating yourself about the condition and about what to expect is an important part of helping your child develop independence and succeed outside of his or her home. Learn about Asperger's syndrome by talking to your doctor or contacting Asperger's organizations. A good source is OASIS @ MAAP: The Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support Center at www.aspergersyndrome.org. Learning about Asperger's will reduce your and your family members' stress and help your child succeed.

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The following are some suggestions on how to help your child who has Asperger's syndrome. Some of the ideas will be helpful, and some may not work for you. Flexibility, creativity, and a willingness to continue to learn will all help you as you raise your child.

General strategies for success

  • Children with Asperger's syndrome benefit from daily routines for meals, homework, and bedtime. They also like specific rules, and consistent expectations mean less stress and confusion for them.
  • Many people with Asperger's syndrome do best with verbal (rather than nonverbal) teaching and assignments. A direct, concise, and straightforward manner is also helpful.
  • People with Asperger's syndrome often have trouble understanding the "big picture" and tend to see part of a situation rather than the whole. That's why they often benefit from a parts-to-whole teaching approach, starting with part of a concept and adding to it to demonstrate encompassing ideas.
  • Visual supports, including schedules and other written materials that serve as organizational aids, can be helpful.
  • Be aware that background noises, such as a clock ticking or the hum of fluorescent lighting, may be distracting to your child.
  • Children with Asperger's syndrome often mature more slowly. Don't always expect them to "act their age."
  • Try to identify stress triggers and avoid them if possible. Prepare your child in advance for difficult situations, and teach him or her ways to cope. For example, teach your child coping skills for dealing with change or new situations.

Strategies for developing social skills

  • Your child may not understand the social norms and rules that come more naturally to other children. Provide clear explanations of why certain behaviors are expected, and teach rules for those behaviors.
  • Encourage your child to learn how to interact with people and what to do when spoken to, and explain why it is important. Give lots of praise, especially when he or she uses a social skill without prompting.
  • Practice activities, such as games or question-and-answer sessions, that call for taking turns or putting yourself in the other person's place.
  • Help your child understand others' feelings by role-playing and watching and discussing human behaviors seen in movies or on television. Provide a model for your child by telling him or her about your own feelings and reactions to those feelings.
  • Teach your child how to read and respond appropriately to social cues. Give him or her "stock" phrases to use in various social situations, such as when being introduced. You can also teach your child how to interact by role-playing.
  • Foster involvement with others, especially if your child tends to be a loner.
  • Teach your child about public and private places, so that he or she learns what is appropriate in both circumstances. For example, hugging may not be appropriate at school but is usually fine at home.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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