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Both for the person who has Asperger's syndrome / high-functioning autism, for parents and siblings, and for teachers, everyday life offers many extra challenges. Here you read 9 things that parents and teachers should know.

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The list is based on one article from Asperger Experts which has a lot of useful information about Asperger syndrome.

 

Rule of thumb 1. Do not take it personally

It is important to try to stick to the attitude of not taking the child's behavior and problems personally when the many challenges of everyday life peak. AspergerExperts writes:





The children want to do their best (in the same way as the adults). Nobody wakes up and thinks "This is what I hope will be a bad day! How do I make sure it's bad?"

When you are attacked whether it is verbal or physical, or when the child behaves defiantly, keep in mind: The child does not do it to be mean to you, but rather because he / she is having a hard time.

 





Rule of thumb 2. Thinking about "bad" behavior as a cry for help

All behavior is a form of communication. It is through behavior that we show to the outside world what is going on inside us. AspergerExperts writes:

The children also show how they feel emotionally through their behavior. When they show "bad" behavior, this is a cry for help, for example for those they do not feel seen and heard, because they are anxious, because they are frustrated and do not know what to do with it, and so on.

The adults have an important, difficult and patience-demanding task of looking behind the behavior. What's really going on? What are the challenges associated with autism that are now unfolding? How can this behavior be understood?

 

Rule of thumb 3. Getting the person out of defense mode makes everything easier

AspergerExperts writes:

Being in defense mode can be compared to walking around with a heavy backpack on your back and with a bandage in front of your eyes. Technically, you can still achieve a lot of different things, but it is much more difficult than necessary.

If you get a person with Asperger's out of defense mode, it suddenly becomes much easier to learn new skills and behaviors. And it makes the adult's tasks easier, as the child becomes more receptive and less evasive.

 

Rule of thumb 4. Do not focus solely on learning social skills

AspergerExperts recommends that you do not focus exclusively on teaching people with Asperger's social skills. They write:

If you focus exclusively on teaching people with Asperger's executive functions (management functions) and social skills, then you forget to teach them the most important thing.

They need to find peace both emotionally and in relation to the strong sensory impressions. If you manage to help them in this, you also help them to go from defense mode to a more open state where they can both "connect" to the social world, and to learn social skills that previously seemed impossible.

 

Rule of thumb 5. Diagnosis is less important than solutions and practical help

This does not mean that the diagnosis is unimportant. On the contrary, the diagnosis is of great importance and opens many doors in relation to schooling and rights, among other things. AspergerExperts writes:

If you have to choose between directing all your efforts towards the pursuit of a diagnosis, or towards building love and trust in your child, then always choose the latter.

Their advice is:

Do not get caught in the trap of trying to find the "right" diagnosis until you pay attention to actually helping your child. Do both.

 

Rule of Remembrance 6. Choose your fights carefully

AspergerExpert writes:

You can not solve all problems. And you certainly can not solve all the problems at once. So there is no way around having to choose their matches carefully. Otherwise you will be both exhausted and overwhelmed.

 

Rule of thumb 7. Put on your own oxygen mask first

You may have heard this phrase from the flight attendant when you go out and fly: "Please put on your own oxygen mask before helping others." But why is this important? AspergerExperts writes:

Because you will suffocate if you do not. In other words, if you do not take care of yourself, you can not take care of others, including the children.

They also refer to some simple tips for better self-care when you have children with special needs.

 

Rule of thumb 8. Change in adults is just as important as change in children

When we work with change (which is often necessary in meetings with children with Asperger's), it is not just the children who have to change, AspergerExperts points out.

There is a lot of research that shows that the way parents behave also affects the behavior of the children. In other words: If the child has problems, then parents must change as much as the children.

The important question is what changes can you as an adult, whether you are a parent or a teacher, make to contribute to change in the child as well? Competence development, guidance and support are key words here.

 

Rule of thumb 9. It's never too late. There is always hope.

In conclusion, AspergerExperts emphasizes that it is never too late, and that there is always hope for change. They refer, among other things, to the brain's neuroplasticity, or ability to change and adapt.

Previously, it was thought that the brain's neuroplasia ended at the age of five, but recent research shows that the brain can actually adapt and change throughout life.

For you, this means that someone with Asperger's Syndrome can always learn new skills, habits, attitudes and behaviors - that last.

 

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