It oftentimes seems as though students who have Asperger’s live in their own world. This world oftentimes seems to be quite remote from that of other learners. However, it is easier than you might think to actually reach out to these students. Regardless as to whether you are working with a group that is comprised exclusively of Asperger’s students or in a mainstream classroom where there are only a few students who have Asperger’s, the following techniques can be used and will benefit the child.
Starters (a.k.a. Do-Nows) For Teaching Aspergers Kids
Starters are short introductory activities that may or may not have anything at all to do with the lesson at hand. Usually they will last for about 5 minutes but they may last a little longer. Don’t worry whenever this happens. Instead, keep in mind that most autistic and aspergers students need to be able to finish tasks.
This is more important to them than your lesson timing. Another one of the main things that you need to keep in mind about starters is that they need to be fun. They can be quizzes, anagrams, hangman or even an odd one out puzzle. All of these things help to set a positive tone for the lesson. Ideally this activity should begin the moment that the student enters your classroom.
Therefore, you need to make sure that you prepare your whiteboard or lay answer sheets and pens on their desks beforehand. This is important because it sets the message that we don’t mess around; we get straight down to business. This is a great way to help kids with aspergers learn.
Visuals For Teaching Aspergers Children
The importance of visuals cannot be underestimated in teaching autistic students. Words are like a second language for these children. Fortunately, we live in a visually orientated world today and there are a lot of great teaching resources available on the Internet that reflect this. For instance, an instant message text is often supported with colorful pictures while PowerPoint presentations often use highlighting for various phrases in order to make for a more straightforward presentation.
Visuals can be a powerful to to help teach children with aspergers syndrome.
Show, Don’t Tell Aspergers Students
Both autism and Asperger’s manifest themselves in the child having difficulty sequencing tasks. What this means is that whenever you tell them something like “Look at the article and fill in both sections of the answer sheet” doesn’t mean anything to these students.
So, before you reprimand the pupil who is sitting there staring off into space while humming to himself, take a moment to ask yourself whether or not they have understood your instructions. This is also where you should be showing your student what to do and guiding him through the beginning of the activity instead of simply telling him what to do.
Teaching aspergers children is a challenge, but there are a few tips to help and this is one of them!
Every student will respond well to positive feedback from their teacher. This is especially true of Asperger’s children who are in need of some tangible measure of success. Since most Asperger’s children don’t have very high self-esteem, teachers need to constantly be striving to bolster their students’ confidence. Some things that you may wish to try include:
- Give out points for appropriate behavior and effort at completing tasks. Record these points on a chart. Whenever the student gets 5 points they can get a small reward.
- Give away raffle tickets for each point a student earns. At the end of each week draw one ticket out to win a bigger prize. The nice thing about raffle tickets is that they can be used as behavioral bargaining chips without anyone in the class even knowing. For instance, if you feel that the noise level in the classroom is unacceptable, offer a few extra raffle tickets to anyone who is listening carefully. Of course, you need to announce that you are doing this right before you do it.
You will want to take some time to try these ideas out. Learn which ones work for you and your students. If it is appropriate to do so, take some time to discuss these activities with your student to see what they think that it is about these activities that actually helps them to learn. This will make for a much happier classroom where your students feel as though they are both more engaged and more empowered.
Just remember teaching children with aspergers syndrome will be a challenge. Teaching aspergers children will be new with each aspergers child you teach. You will need to develop teaching strategies for aspergers children and teens to help them learn and become educated. Be patient when teaching kids with aspergers syndrome or you will not get anywhere.