Aspergers Syndrome????

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by 2teachis2learn, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. 2teachis2learn

    2teachis2learn Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2006

    Hi,
    I have a child in my class that has Aspergers, does anyone have any tips on how to deal with his obsessive behaviours (such as telling me a hundred times a day about his favourite shopping centers) and how do i help him to concentrate on his work and listen to instructions.:confused:
    Hope someone can help me
    It is a year 4 class.
    Thanks
    Kim
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 20, 2006

    I've had Asperger's Syndrome kids BUT they had one-on-one aides. What seems to have worked with some is telling them that you will listen to them WHEN they have finished abc....It's the WHEN...THEN principle. WHEN you are done with ______, THEN you can ________. Try it, it MIGHT work.
     
  4. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    Oct 20, 2006

    Also, try reducing your verbal and increasing your visual. This applies to directions, redirection, everything. You can easily redirect a child with a visual cue (written, picture, etc.) or a gesture. Individuals with Asperger syndrome also typically find visual representations (written, picture, etc.) of directions to be more easily comprehended than pure verbal (auditory) input.

    Troy will come along soon and add some things I bet. :D
     
  5. eduk8em

    eduk8em Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2006

    I've had good luck putting a chart on their desk with the targeted behavior. We agree on a number of times per day they are allowed to do the behavior and check them off when done. It helps to allow some in the morning and some in the afternoon. In some ways you are redirecting their OC behavior to the chart, but it can help mold more socially acceptable behavior.
     
  6. Enigma0526

    Enigma0526 Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2006

    Are you in a reg. ed classroom or sped.?
    Part of the difficulty in A.S. kids and learning is that they generally process information differently or slower than their peers. They may be at the same grade level (higher functioning AS), but too much verbal direction can be confusing. So that you're not specifically targeting one child (eg. taking him aside and re-explaining the directions on-on-one), maybe write the directions in simple point-form on the board as you're giving the directions. That way, everyone can clearly see the directions, but it is written with much less excess verbage, and not singling out one child.

    As far as the constant questioning-- with AS the repetitive behavior can be verbal as well as physical. It depends on the child.
    Some will ask or state the same thing over and over; others will twirl hair, tap things, wave things in front of their face, focus on patterns made by light, textures or reflections, etc.

    The student's constant need to explain the same story may simply be a stim behavior, or it may be an obsessive interest. If you get frustrated and simply tell the child "not now", or "later", --to him, it is a literal meaning. "Later" to you may mean not until the end of the day; 'later' to the child may mean 5 minutes from now. (Cause technically-- it IS "later".) A.S. kids are far more literal in their understanding than the general population. We can grasp the concept of metaphorical language and simile (explaining one thing by comparing it to another) but often they can't.

    They are often visual learners, so anytime you can use graphics to make your point will help.

    The time-card idea mentioned above is great. Setting a set number of times per day will let the child know that you care about his interest, but there are appropriate times for such things. You can gradually reduce that number as you see fit. If the child is ok with writing skills, perhaps have him write the story for you. Draw pictures if he wants. And then when he's finished he can share it with you. But not until then.

    A great book to read is "Nobody, Nowhere" by Donna Williams. She was quite severely autistic as a child, and has since learned to function relatively normally in society. She has written a number of books on autism. This book though, was like looking into the mind of an autistic. She not only explains different behaviors, what they looked like, etc., but also WHY she did them, and then reasoning behind it. It was one of the best books I've read on the subject, and gave me a much deeper understanding of how the autistic mind works, the best ways to "reach" an autistic child, and some great teaching tools. Granted, not all autistic kids are the same, but in general-- I've found that certain things I learned from that book really helped in the classroom.

    Sorry this is quite long, but I hope it was of some help.
     
  7. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Oct 21, 2006

    I agree with everything that has been said so far. Another suggestion for when you want to give a redirection, direction...and that is write it on a post it note or sheet of paper. I have found that has helped too. Now, if I could just get my overly verbal staff assistants to do the same thing... as well as avoid power struggles, and not feel that when a kid is not following directions or refusing to so what you ask, that it is for some reason okay to get into their personal space, thus causing the child to react explosively. It is the two men that have this problem, not the female. Sorry for the tangent, another good book is Emergence by Temple Grandon.
     
  8. 2teachis2learn

    2teachis2learn Rookie

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    Oct 23, 2006

    Thanks all for your great suggestions

    Enigma0526 i am already on the lookout for this book

    We are in a regular classroom with 31 :eek: other students i think this is part of my difficulty.

    i am already using a visual timetable and visuals on his desk but he just doesn't seem interested in them

    Thanks again

    Kim
     
  9. Enigma0526

    Enigma0526 Rookie

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    Oct 23, 2006

    Wow!!! I can't imagine having 31 kids, and one "high maintenence" child. Even 20 kids and one HM student is a lot.

    Are the visuals on his desk taped down, so that they're always there, or is it like one card with the visuals, but changeable as the day progresses? If it's the former-- perhaps it's too much to look at? Simplicity is the key. :)

    You could also try something similar to the PECS program (picture exchange communication system). You can make this yourself, using a strip of cardstock and setting up his "schedule" for the day, via pictures, backed with velcro. Upon transition to a new activity or location (eg. gym, music, etc.), he is told to "check schedule". Then he removes the 'symbol' for that activity and either hands it to you (or the gym/music/ etc. teacher), or matches it to another symbol-- either where he is doing the activity, or on another schedule strip/card.

    This allows him to see his day progressing, as he removes each picture, but also is a cue to stay on task and hopefully make an easier transition. You can fit mini-breaks (even a couple of min.) throughout the day, after subjects that are tougher for him to sit still/focus on. That way, he sees his schedule and knows that after reading or math or whatever, he gets a small break, but not until then. If he isn't on task or doing his work, the natural consequence is either a) homework or b) the loss of break time. Most of the other students probably won't notice quite as much. And if they do-- I'm guessing they're already aware of his behaviors.

    Also, maybe try a "buddy" student. One who is able to finish their work ahead of time (without rushing), but can help the student stay on task or focus on the work (and can be changed daily or weekly). This also teaches respect between peers, and builds a bit more support for a kid who (I'm guessing), has been a distraction to students in the past. Kids are perceptive, and "different" behavior can sometimes make a kid a target of other students, whether or not intentional harm of whatever kind is intended.

    Ok--- this is quite long and I need to get ready to go!!
    Hope this helps a bit!
    Wendy

     
  10. Deb

    Deb New Member

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    Oct 23, 2006

    Hello,

    My son has Asperger's. Two suggestions regarding his obsessions: 1)try giving your student specific times of the day to discuss whatever he is obsessing about. Set a schedule so he knows that he has 5 minutes at 10:00 a.m. or whatever time to tell you whatever he needs to. Most important, stick to the schedule. If he/she tries to talk at other times, remind them this is not the time to talk about it. To stay on task is even more difficult. My son was in a regular class for two years before being placed in a separate class and I understand your frustruation as I heard it all the time from his previous teachers. To keep the student on task, try chunking the information and covering up everything else. As before, have a buddy maybe help them. Once the student has complete one piece uncover the next and so on. I hope any of this helps. Good luck.
     
  11. maebowler

    maebowler Comrade

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    Oct 23, 2006

    Use what he talks about to your advantage. Use them for examples on what you want him to do. One student I work with loves, loves, loves dinosaur and when we talk about what he needs to do in terms of dinosaurs he understands so much better. Also be short and concise with what you want him to do and then leave him to do it. Visuals like mentioned are better than verbal. Hope I helped.
     
  12. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Oct 23, 2006

    Is year four the same as grade four?
     
  13. Enigma0526

    Enigma0526 Rookie

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    Yes. I don't know about overseas, but I know in Canada, grade four or year four is the same as what we call "Fourth Grade" here in the states. :) I have some friends up in Canada, and I'm always a bit thrown off at first when they say it. :)
     
  14. mrs a

    mrs a Companion

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    Oct 24, 2006

    Do a search on Asperger's and you will have lots on info at your fingertips. A lot of organizations that help to inform of this condition also provide suggestions for educators.

    Give him one task at a time. In my experience, these students have been really good at remembering what you tell them. If you tell them you will talk about the grocery store at a certain time, they will remember. Keep your word with this so they know that thier time will come to express themselves or else it will make him anxious just waiting to find out if his time will come.

    If you have not already, talk to the parents about their expectations for him and what they do for him at home. Consistency works wonders with all kids in the autistic spectrum.

    Good Luck!
     
  15. lorichandler

    lorichandler New Member

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    Oct 24, 2006

    Aspergers

    I am a Special Ed teacher but I also have a daughter with Aspergers. The obsession on certain topics is very strong for a lot of these kids. My daughter talks about horses non stop. She is learning to talk about other things but it is hard. She is 18 but was not diagnosed until 15 so she has some characteristics that have been hard to work with and change. Some will never change. I think the best thing to do for your student who talks non stop about their obsession is to give them a specific time that he/she can talk about it with a specific time limit. These kids need very concrete directions and expectations. It takes some time and lots of social skills training but eventually they can learn to monitor (somewhat) how much they talk about their interest and how much they listen to others.
     
  16. ppax

    ppax Rookie

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    Oct 26, 2006

    I use a "speech license". If I have the card with the speech license icon he cannot talk about his obsession... if he has it then he can talk to me uninturrupted for five minutes. He can earn this. (He is allowed to talk to me a bit prior to the day starting and again for a minute or two right after lunch to help him transition in. During a lesson if he starts up, then I remind him about the license and that works well. He has been using it for a few years already though. He is also in 4th grade.
     
  17. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

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    Nov 10, 2006

    I am a special ed teacher who has AS (Asperger's Syndrome)

    Even students with higher-functioning/mild autism need an expected structure and what to expect next. A visual schedule is a perfect tool to help these students focus on what is going on and what to expect next. Students with AS could use a checklist as well. I would write or type down a checklist of activities or expectations and as the student completes each area, he/she could mark a check mark to show that the activity has been done. Also, they require "mini-schedules" to help them focus on the activity. "transition schedules" help them understand what is next on the sequence as well. Students with AS are very visual and use their strengths which is visual memory. Try your best not to overwhelm the student with too much auditory input. Even as a teacher, I get overwhelmed with auditory input because of my sensory difficulties. Make sure the classroom is free from as much distractions as possible. I would suggest using a carrell if possible or placing this student as close to the front of the teaching area which will reduce any sensory changes as well. They benefit from visual directions as well. If you want any specific directions on how to help them, I would send me an email. I am happy to help teachers who need assistance with students like myself and students with autism. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts.

    Troy in Downey, CA
    AspieTeacher
     

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