Learning disabilities often present themselves in a number of different ways, and Asperger’s syndrome is no different. Children with Asperger’s syndrome tend to have difficulty making new or meaningful relationships with people, which can usually be seen in social situations, a fact which can make school an increasingly difficult environment for diagnosed children.
One of the biggest issues with preparing schools for children with Asperger’s, or any autistm spectrum disorder for that matter, is that no two children will behave the exact same way with Asperger’s. The symptoms are usually mixed in with their natural personalities, and as such one child could behave in a manner that’s completely different than another child. On top of that, there are varying degrees of severity with Asperger’s syndrome, and each child needs individualized care for the greatest impact.
Some of the symptoms that you might see from your child with Asperger’s include:
– Lack of social skills: A child with Asperger’s may have an inherent inability to notice common social cues. This can mean not being able to have conversations or being able to pick up on a conversational partner’s body language. Additionally, they may have a hard time distinguishing verbal cues, and things like tone of voice, inflection, or “deeper” meaning (such as with jokes) would go over their head completely.
– Children diagnosed with Asperger’s will often avoid eye contact when speaking, yet stare openly at someone who is looking away.
– The child may be more sensitive to flashing lights or loud noises.
– Children with Asperger’s often develop a single area of interest that dominates all of their focus. In younger years, this might be seen in a strong interest in dinosaurs or planets or animals. Often, the child will talk exclusively and at great length about this one subject with which they are familiar.
– Motor development is often delayed. Sports may not come easily because of the increased hand/eye coordination required, and handwriting is usually pretty bad.
There are other symptoms that your child may exhibit as well, and the important thing is recognizing the symptoms as they occur and getting an early diagnosis so that you can begin implementing specific teaching techniques. Children with Asperger’s syndrome often fall behind in school because they have difficulty learning through the same conventions as normal kids. You can write up a short pamphlet to hand to your child’s teachers if you’re concerned about the way the classroom learning environment is structured.
Children with Asperger’s syndrome need love and attention just as much as any other child – often more, but one huge mistake that many parents make is neglecting their other children. Developmental problems in children usually start within the first year of a child’s life, but behavioral issues can crop up at any time, usually within the first 10 years. It’s easy for a sibling of a child with Asperger’s to feel like they’re “left out” or “unloved”, so it falls on the parent to compensate with the normal children in the family as well.