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What can you do to Help at home

Home Treatment

You can best serve your child by learning about Asperger’s syndrome and providing a supportive and loving home environment. Remember, 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 knowing what to expect is an important part of helping your child succeed outside of home and develop independence. Learn about Asperger's syndrome by talking to your health professional or contacting Asperger's organizations.  This will reduce your and your family members' stress and help your child succeed.

The following are some suggestions on how to help your child with Asperger's syndrome. Some of them will be helpful; some may not work for you. Flexibility, creativity, and a willingness to continue to learn will all help in raising your child with Asperger's syndrome.

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 non-verbal) 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.

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 behaviours are expected, and teach rules for those behaviours.
  • Encourage your child to make eye contact when spoken to, and explain why it is important. Give lots of praise, especially when he or she uses a social skill without prompting.
  • Practise activities, such as games or question-and-answer sessions, that call for taking turns.
  • Help your child understand others' feelings by role-playing and watching and discussing human behaviours seen in movies or 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 they learn 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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