You can best serve your child by
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.
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.
A person who has autism often has trouble communicating and interacting with other people; his or her interests, activities, and play skills may be limited. Occupational therapy may help people with autism develop these skills at home and in school.
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
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
Be aware that background noises, such as a clock ticking
or the hum of fluorescent lighting, may be distracting to your
Children with autism spectrum disorders (which include Asperger's syndrome) may be especially interested in video games, computers, or other screen-based media such as TV. If possible, keep televisions, video games, and computers out of your child's bedroom. When children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have these devices in their bedroom, they are more likely to sleep fewer hours. This is especially true when video games are in the bedroom. If your child doesn't get enough sleep, his or her ASD symptoms may be worse.
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.