Asperger's Syndrome - Treatment Overview
Asperger's syndrome strives to improve your child's
abilities to interact with other people and thus to function effectively in
society and be self-sufficient. Each child with Asperger's syndrome has
differences in the number and severity of symptoms, so treatment should be
designed to meet individual needs and available family resources. Specific treatments are based on symptoms.
Start by contacting your local
school district to find out which services are available for your child. Become
informed about your
child's educational rights. Federal law requires
public schools to provide appropriate educational services for people ages 3 to
21 who have disabilities (including Asperger's). Also, there may be state and
local laws or policies to aid children with Asperger's.
meet with school personnel to identify goals and establish an individualized
education program (IEP). IEPs are designed to fit the child's specific needs
based on the evaluation of his or her level of disability.
Look at what is being offered at
different schools to find out which services your child needs and where you can
best find them. Qualities to look for include:
- Small work groups with individual
- A communication specialist with an interest in social
- Opportunities for social interaction in a
structured setting and in supervised activities.
- A concern for
teaching real-life skills and encouraging a child's special interests and
- A willingness to individualize the
- A sensitive counselor who can focus on your child's
emotional well-being and serve as a liaison with the family.
emphasis on respect for diversity and empathy for students.
Stay informed about what is happening in your child's
classroom. Frequent communication can be managed with a communication diary
that goes back and forth between teacher and parent.
Treatment is geared toward
improving communication, social skills, and behavior management. A treatment
program may be adjusted often to be the most useful for your child.
Take advantage of your child's strengths by encouraging him or her to
explore interests at home and at school. Activity-oriented groups and focused
counseling can also be helpful.