Tag Archives: Aspregers social skills
People with Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty with the social aspects of life and often have inappropriate responses to social situations. One of the major problems for children with Asperger’s Syndrome is understanding social cues in a given situation. Parents often struggle trying to find the best ways to help their Asperger’s child; it takes time, patience, practice and compassion.
While many parents notice something unusual in their child quite early, most try to explain “unorthodox” behavior of their child by all possible reasons except for the most likely one. When the fact that something is wrong becomes obvious, parents bring their child for psychological assessment. Accepting the diagnosis is a very difficult step. Denial that your child has Asperger’s will not help, the sooner you accept the reality, the better for you or your child.
The following tips can be useful for parents of Asperger’s children:
- Do not coddle or shelter your child from any situation that might set him/her off. Exposing your child to social situations will allow opportunities for both of you to work through them. With your guidance and over time, your child will be able to learn what the appropriate behaviors are in various situations. In addition, learn what your child’s triggers are to better prepare yourself to diffuse or alter a possible meltdown or display of undesired behavior(s).
- Be clear in your explanations of expected and/or desired behaviors when the situations arise. Do not expect that your child should know how to behave in different social situations and settings. Walk them through (thoroughly, but with the use of age-appropriate language) appropriate behaviors as well as emotional responses in accordance with the given social situations. You will have to repeat your explanations, but with time, your child should have a better understanding of the social skills necessary to achieve positive social interactions in diverse situations.
Having a romantic relationship with someone with Asperger’s Syndrome can be engaging and rewarding, but it can also be very challenging, especially as the major life changes that often accompany relationships (marriage, home ownership, parenting) shake up the routine of the person with Asperger’s Syndrome and introduce stress and complex dynamics that he or she may be ill-equipped to deal with.
In order to get the best out of your partner with Asperger’s Syndrome, it’s important to keep the following points in mind; remember, however, that all people with Asperger’s Syndrome are different, and thus, so are all marriages with Aspergers partner—Some points may therefore apply more than others. The most fundamental thing to remember is that, like any other marriage, a marriage where Asperger’s Syndrome is present will only work if both partners share a willingness to communicate and understand each other’s needs.
When conversing with your partner who has Asperger’s Syndrome, you should try to:
- Be as clear and concise as possible; rely on logic and reasoning to reach your partner, not emotion.
- Be consistent; mean what you say.
- Be upfront with what you expect and need; “hinting” and other more subtle methods will not have any positive effect on your partner.
Be prepared to deal with extra challenges if you start a family. Those with Asperger’s Syndrome struggle with child-rearing at times because:
- It’s demanding and stress levels are raised by increased responsibility. Asperger’s Syndrome traits are often aggravated and made more prominent by stress.
- Established routines become more difficult to keep
Most children are sponges for new information, learning rapidly about everything around them and incorporating it into their lives, often through imaginative play. For many children, social situations are no exception to this rule; they can move through peer situations easily, changing their behaviours to fit the changing milieux around them. Through experience and observation, they learn to pick up on the many subtle cues and “unspoken rules” that govern social interaction.
For a child with Asperger’s syndrome, the social world is very different place; their brains do not register this vital interpersonal information easily, particularly the more subtle forms of it, such as body language and tone of voice. Many children with Asperger’s syndrome either misread this kind of information or miss it altogether. For this reason, many children with Asperger’s syndrome appear socially awkward, and they may not behave in ways others feel are appropriate. Teaching social skills to children with Asperger’s syndrome is absolutely essential and it will help them develop proper behaviour in social situations.
In order to help children with Asperger’s syndrome learn better social skills, parents and educators must understand the unique challenges faced by children with Asperger’s, and how their brains learn differently than those of normal children. The following “problem areas” tend to have a particular impact on the learning of social skills:
- Visual spatial processing: Children with Asperger’s syndrome need things explained to them verbally, as they don’t process visual information around them easily. They will not generally observe the behaviour of their peers and mimic it, which slows social learning.
- Holistic processing: Children with Asperger’s syndrome are not “big picture” thinkers; they tend to instead hyper-focus on small details. Therefore, they often cannot read situations as whole entities, finding themselves unable to make the needed connections. Children with Asperger’s syndrome may also struggle to properly apply their past experiences to new situations, and will overly generalize situations to simplify them into something they can understand. It is also hard for children with Asperger’s to properly sense intent, leaving them both naive and prone to being inappropriately defensive.
- Abstract reasoning and problem solving: When issues arise, especially socially, children with Asperger’s syndrome often cannot think abstractly enough to solve the problems at hand (or it would take them much longer than they are likely to be allowed). They have a hard time assessing what their choices are, and selecting a specific choice that represents the best course of action. In their frustration, they can become overwhelmed and emotional.