Teachers Aspergers Syndrome Guide

As a teacher you know that each classroom is filled with children who come from a variety of background. You also recognize that some of them will have learning challenges which may or may not be adequately addressed in the home. Yet are you prepared for the situations that arise from having a child in your class that has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome?

A child with Asperger’s Syndrome is well known for the intelligence with which she or he can converse on a topic that is of interest to the youngster. Dr. Asperger himself used to call them the little professors he would work with. At the same time, such children may display an extraordinary reticence at shifting gears in between different activities, leading teachers to sometimes experience something like exasperation.

It is important for a teacher to understand what it is like teaching a child with Asperger’s Syndrome and if you follow this guide, you are well on your way to integrating this child into your classroom and teaching.

* Recognize that simple acts, like forgetting homework, is not an affront toward you, but simply might be an expression of the child’s inability to remember a routine task.

* Behavioral skills are not transferable. If your science minded Asperger’s Syndrome student is able to go ahead and do the research on a complex science matter, it does not automatically mean that he is able to transfer this research ability to a much simpler social studies project. If the topic does not appeal to the student, he will not know how to do the same things he did for science.

* Positive reinforcement is a must with your student. While many students may do well with negative consequences and actually learn from their mistakes, the Asperger’s Syndrome student will get frustrated. Work hard to notice the good behaviors, and gently work with the parents to correct the bad choices the student makes.

* Asperger’s Syndrome children will have meltdowns. The younger the student, the more prone to meltdowns he will be. Even older children will still showcase this behavior, although in many cases they will have learned how to handle the frustrations that set them off a bit better. If you have younger kids in your classroom, offer a safe spot away from the other children where the child may cool off. During such a meltdown there is little you can do for the child other than acknowledging his feelings and giving him some time to regroup.

* Understand that an Asperger’s Syndrome child is considered odd by his classmates. If you do the group approach to teaching, assigning the groups rather than letting the kids do the picking is crucial. Otherwise you will end up with the child consistently being the odd man out.

* The child has parents. Do not fall into the trap of trying to parent the child during school hours. Work together with the parents to help him during class time and make yourself available for help within the confines of your schedule, but do not try to correct or undo what the parents do at home.

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