Whether the choice is public school, homeschooling, or a specialized Aspergers education center, you will find that there will always be circumstances and incidents that the parents must manage. A positive outlook and a little effort can go a long way in developing well-adjusted and well-rounded children with Autism. Here are a few things parents need to know about Aspergers and education.
- Know the child’s learning style and ability. Many children with ASD are natural learners when education is presented with their interests in mind. Other children struggle with every aspect of learning. This must be taken into account when choosing the educational setting.
- Know that success means learning to incorporate the child’s therapy and academic goals in natural settings outside of the educational environment. Fifteen minutes of group speech therapy, twice a week will help, but the child will come much closer to meeting those goals if the parents practice at home. Ten minutes while dinner is cooking or ten minutes during bath time can make a huge difference. Keep physical therapy goals in mind during outside play and kick or throw the ball a few times, walk up and down the stairs, or practice walking on a line in the sidewalk. These ideas are simple, yet highly effective for children with Autism.
- Know the child is in good health. For children with Aspergers, education can be cut short by poor health. Children on the Autism spectrum tend to eat and sleep poorly. Vitamin supplements and the healthiest food choices possible are important. Talk to the child’s doctor about Melatonin as a sleep aid if necessary. Regular doctor and dental appointments are necessary for children with ASD.
- Know the child’s social ability. Children with Autism are usually very introverted. They come across as shy or even aloof. Since social situations are difficult, they can easily force isolation, becoming depressed and anxious. Parents can gently ease the child into appropriate social situations. A trip to the library or zoo can easily lead to social interaction with the guidance of a willing parent. Recreation league sports are usually not as competitive as school sports and offer exercise, fun, and chances to make friends.
Parents must be aware of all areas of development in children with Aspergers. Education and learning opportunities are not limited to school hours. Working with the child’s strengths and weaknesses at school and at home will increase the child’s chances of growth in physical, social, and academic ability.
Thanks for reading,