Having an Asperger’s Syndrome child is a difficult proposition; having to work and rely on a daycare to take care of the child is a Herculean task for the peace of mind of any person. Concerned parents should take heart that there are actually a number of daycare facilities that employ individuals well versed with Asperger’s Syndrome. In addition, some in home daycare centers pride themselves on offering special programs for children who have a hard time with the rigors of integrating themselves into other, similar, settings.
When you are checking around for a daycare suitable for your Asperger’s Syndrome child, consider the following:
* Is the student to teacher ratio sufficiently low? You know that your child has a hard time transitioning from one activity to another, and even the most mundane situations may present seemingly insurmountable challenges to your child. The more teachers there are the daycare center, the easier it is for someone to take the child under her wing and make sure that the problems he experiences are minimal.
* Are the teachers aware of the manifestations of Asperger’s Syndrome? For example, your child may continuously repeat a word or phrase for a period of time, and in a regular setting this may give rise to some consternation. On the other hand, at a daycare center where the teachers understand that this is part and parcel of the symptoms the condition evokes, this is taken in a stride, and teachers will seek to normalize the behavior to the other kids, rather than making a big deal of it.
* Are transitions easily anticipated or do they happen at the drop of a hat? You know that for a child with Asperger’s Syndrome the mere idea of transitioning from one locale to another or one activity to another presents a problem. When these transitions happen suddenly and without much warning, you child will have a harder time. On the other hand, if they can be reasonably anticipated, a skilled daycare worker can actually incorporate them into a daily routine, making the experience a lot easier for the child.
* Are instructions direct and simple? Too often children with Asperger’s Syndrome are overwhelmed by the long lists of directions given to them. This can be avoided by simplifying the process of giving directions and also reducing the amount of information offered during one simple interaction. The skilled daycare worker knows to break down the directions that are given to their bare bones, ensuring that the child with Asperger’s Syndrome is not overwhelmed when asked to do something.
* Are distractions kept to a minimum? You know that a daycare setting that lends itself to a lot of distractions is not a good idea. For this reason you most likely avoided the daycare center that shares space with the school, or the daycare provider that welcomed a wide range of ages into the home. At the same time, there are still distractions that even occur in a daycare setting that is optimal; how they are handled, however, showcases the true depth of understanding the workers have. If they are able to quickly reduce any distractions or eliminate them altogether, your child is in good hands.