This article looks at one of the most important areas for parents with a child who has Aspergers, which is behavior. Every parent loves their child, as they should. But, you need to be as objective about his or her behaviour as you can. In order to best support your child through the day to day problems that may arise it is important to try to have this impartial focus on their behaviors. What may seem odd to you, may be extremely annoying or even reason for retaliation to someone else (although this retaliation is not justified). So you need to do what you can to help your child to cope better in society, and vice versa for those in society to cope better with your child. Similarly you need to equip them as best you can for their classroom, and their neighborhood.
This is not about making your child a robot or taking away their identity, but basic survival at times. I truly believe that each child is individual and that not two children with Aspergers are ever identical. However there are certain approaches and techniques that have been seen to be helpful both in research and in everyday living for children with Aspergers. Assessing your child’s behavior, in different situations, will prepare you to deal with difficult times, and help your child to do the same. For example your child may have difficulty communicating with you or with others. They may have difficulty following societal rules. Another example is that your child may have difficulty adjusting to changes that occur with the daily routine. Your child may also have difficulty adjusting to environmental changes, whether they include the rearranging of furniture or new people.
You will need to assess each of these situations and any others that you encounter and develop a plan that enables your child to adjust. One way of doing this may include role-play of social situations. This may include a well-developed plan that provides your child with a way out, or a way to deal with situations that are overwhelming. An example for this may be that your child may get overwhelmed by too many people or too much noise in a certain situations. So the obvious answer for them is to temporarily get out of the situation. Their approach to do this may include just running or pushing their way physically out of the situation. So role play could help them to practice saying a set few words to the teacher like “I need time out” or if interaction may be too hard for them at this point they could hold up a card with the words on them. Obviously it is essential too to get the teacher on board and agreement with the approach for it to work.
The bottom line is that your child will really struggle to meet the demands of change, or the demands of society. So you will need to help them by providing a buffer zone. That may include changing your routine, providing an outlet for them, or teaching others how to communicate better with your child. Meet with your child’s teacher and discuss behavior and try to establish a method that will work well at home and in the school (as outlined above). The more consistently you can deal with your child the more of an impact it will have on them, and their ability to be productive in school.
To briefly summarise this article it is essential for the parent of a child with Aspergers to help them by offering practical help in dealing with social situations. This first involves the parent assessing their child in a variety of different social situations and then using techniques (like Role Play and involving significant others such as teachers) to help them to learn and understand better ways to get through these situations.