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20 Ways to help your student with Asperger Syndrome. Melissa Trautman, M.S. Ed. Southeast ASD Regional Coordinator mtrautman@esu6.org 402-761-3341 www.esu6.org/services/asd_home.htm http://seasdnetwork.wordpress.com. #1 Learn about Asperger Syndrome.

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20 ways to help your student with asperger syndrome

20 Ways to help your student with Asperger Syndrome

Melissa Trautman, M.S. Ed.

Southeast ASD Regional Coordinator





asperger s disorder diagnostic criteria
Asperger’s Disorder: Diagnostic Criteria
  • Impairments in social interactions
  • Restricted interests/patterns of behavior
    • Persistent, preoccupation with special topics/interests
    • Interferes with learning & social interests
  • No significant delay in early language and cognition
  • Exclusion of autism first
  • IQ
  • Grammar and vocabulary
  • Rote memory
  • Absorbs facts easily
  • Interests in social world
  • Special talents
additional areas of difficulty
Additional Areas of Difficulty
  • Social Understanding/Social Info. Processing
      • Peer Interactions
      • Interactions with Teachers/Adults
  • Language Use & Comprehension
  • Sensory/Motor
  • Academic
  • Problem Solving
  • Flexibility
  • Emotional Regulation

Diane Adreon and Dena Gitilitz, 2002

problems associated with academic success
Problems associated with Academic Success:

Students may experience difficulty in:

  • Attending to relevant stimuli
  • Following auditory instructions
  • Understanding what to do & how to do it
  • Generalizing knowledge
  • Applying knowledge
  • Planning
  • Organization
2 know your student
#2 Know your student
  • What are your student’s strengths?
  • What are your student’s areas of growth?
  • What does your student like to do/areas of interest?
3 build a relationship with your student
#3Build a relationship with your student
  • Spend time doing activities the child likes
  • Show interest in their life and activities
  • Find reinforcement that the student likes
4 set a calm positive tone
#4 Set a calm, positive tone
  • Use a calm voice when speaking
  • Give facts in an unemotional tone of voice
  • Express information in a logical sequence
  • Control your emotions!
5 be generous with praise
#5 be generous with praise
  • Be specific with your praise
  • Compliment attempts and successes
  • Praise helps foster understanding about events (i.e. studying for a test, grades)
6 provide reassurance
#6Provide reassurance
  • Reduce uncertainty to help with anxiety
  • Check in on a regular basis and provide reassurance
  • Break down tasks into smaller steps
7 priming
  • Priming is a strategy where adults help students know of what is coming up ahead of time.
  • Priming can be used for
    • Academics
    • Daily schedule
    • Substitutes
    • Behavioral expectations
    • Social situations
8 listen to the words
#8Listen to the words
  • Listen to the student – interpret what they are saying
  • “I can’t do it” may mean….
    • I can’t find my book
    • I don’t understand the directions
    • I have to go to the bathroom now and I can’t do my assignment until I go.
    • I can’t concentrate because I am upset that I lost my favorite toy.
9 watch for literalness
#9Watch for Literalness
  • Have difficulty understanding metaphors, idioms, sarcasm
  • “Say what you mean and mean what you say!”
  • Use specific directions
10 social autopsies
#10 Social Autopsies
  • Developed by Richard Lavoie
  • Supportive and constructive problem solving strategy
  • Analyze the problem with an adult
  • Helps see the cause and effect relationship of his or her behavior and others
11 teach the hidden curriculum
#11Teach the Hidden Curriculum

“The hidden curriculum refers to the set of rules or guidelines that are often not directly taught but are assumed to be known (Garrnett, 1984; Hemmings, 2000; Jackson, 1968; Kanpol, 1989)…. The hidden curriculum contains items that impact social interactions, school performance, and sometimes safety.”

Myles, 2004

hidden curriculum cont
Hidden Curriculum cont.

If you find yourself saying things like:

  • I shouldn’t have to tell you, but…
  • It should be obvious that…
  • Everyone knows that…
  • Common sense tells us…

You probably are dealing with a hidden

curriculum item.

Myles, 2004

hidden curriculum calendar
Hidden Curriculum Calendar

January 3, 2007

Adults do not like it when kids point out the things they are doing wrong (even if they are). It is not your responsibility to teach grownups how to do things. It’s better just to keep quiet. The exception is an emergency.

12 use visuals
#12Use visuals
  • Daily Schedules
  • Calendars
  • Class routines
  • Checklists
  • Change cards
  • Cue Cards

When given a direction you need to…

  • Say “OK”
  • Start right away
  • Do it in the right amount of time
  • Do it correctly
  • A choice or B choice?
  • Is it worth getting mad about?
  • Remember: I can choose to remain calm.
  • I can choose ways to calm myself down.
13 be flexible
#13be flexible
  • Students with Asperger Syndrome typically CAN NOT be flexible
  • Teach flexibility – use change cards
14 operate on asperger time
#14Operate on asperger Time

“Twice as much time, half as much done”

class work

getting materials



15 manage the environment
#15Manage the environment
  • Be aware of any sensory issues (lights, noises, etc.)
  • Problem-solve with your student when incidents occur
  • Read your student’s frustration level
16 strategies for rumbling behaviors
#16Strategies for rumbling behaviors
  • Antiseptic bouncing
  • Defusing through humor
  • Support Routines
  • Providing praise and empathy
  • Redirecting to a high interest area
  • Walk and don’t talk
  • Compromise
17 rage stage strategies
#17Rage Stage Strategies
  • Protect the student
  • Protect the environment
  • Protect others
  • DO NOT Discipline or try to teach the individual during this stage
  • Remove the audience
  • Be non-confrontational
  • Control your own emotions - disengage
18 recovery stage strategies
#18Recovery stage Strategies

Determine what the individual needs of the child are and consider the following options:

  • Redirect to a successful activity
  • Provide space
  • Ensure that interventions are presented at the child’s functioning level
  • Check to see if the child is ready to learn
  • Do not make excessive demands
  • Support with structure
  • Consider the child to be fragile
  • Plan instructional interventions to prevent rage cycle
19 home base
#19Home Base
  • Time spent at home base may be used to complete work brought from the stressful environment. Home base is not intended as an escape from work or responsibilities. Rather it is a place that reduces the environmentaldemands placed on the individual and/or decreases his internal stress so he is able to complete his work.
  • Home base may be included in the daily schedule as a proactive strategy. An individual may go to home base at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, or as planned or needed throughout the day or activity.
home base cont
Home Base cont.
  • It is important that everyone involved views home base as a support and not as a punishment. Ideally, home base is used proactively. However, it can serve as a safe place to recover from a meltdown. Regardless, home base is not the same as a time-out and so the same space should not be used for both purposes. For example, if a child is sent to his room for time-out, a different location should be identified for home base.
20 help organize
#20Help organize
  • To-do list
  • Timeline
  • Project Planner
  • Color coded folders
      • Matched with color-coded books
      • Pens/pencils in each
  • Multi-compartment back-pack
  • Two back-packs if on block schedule