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Developing Social Skills for People with Asperger's Syndrome

Updated on November 19, 2014

The Face of Asperger's Syndrome

Hi! I have Asperger's Syndrome. It's a form of autism. Read about my day!
Hi! I have Asperger's Syndrome. It's a form of autism. Read about my day! | Source

Asperger's Syndrome At School

I am six years old. I am in first grade in Mrs. Lane’s room. I like going to school. Sometimes it is hard, just because I don’t know how to act. I have a form of autism called Asperger’s Syndrome.

How To Develop Social Skills For People With Asperger's Syndrome

  • Children in the autism spectrum, including those with Asperger's need a solid routine. If the routine is different for whatever reason, a child can begin to have behavior issues such as tantrums or crying or something similar. The best way to avoid this is to stick to the routine as much as possible. If there is going to be a change that you know about, prepare the child ahead of time.
  • Children in the autism spectrum need to know what is going to happen before it happens. Schedules are essential if you want to decrease negative behaviors. Picture schedules work really well with younger students.


Ready, Set, Breakfast

When I first get to school, I go to get my breakfast. I like Wednesdays because we have hot pancakes. Other days we just have cereal. I like my cereal with chocolate milk. It just tastes better that way. When I get my breakfast I go to my special class with Mrs. Campbell. It’s hard for me to say her name, so I say Ms. Camel. She laughs at me when I do that. We have fun when I eat my breakfast with her. She tells me things like how to play games with my friends or how I’m supposed to sit on the school bus. Sometimes she lets my sisters come and eat with us. Then we talk about how I act at home and how I need to learn how to be nice to my little brother and sisters.

Sometimes I forget that I have to be nice at school. When I play a game, I want to play my way. Sometimes my way is different than the rules, but I still want to play my way. If someone else wins, I want to throw the game across the room. But this isn’t nice, so I have to stop doing that. I also forget to look at people in the eyes when I talk to them. Or I forget to look away and I stare. Both of these things make other people feel uncomfortable. I don’t care about that, but other people do, I guess.

How To Develop Social Skills For People With Asperger's Syndrome

  • A structured environment is also very important. When a child with Asperger’s know what to expect, life is better for everyone.
  • You have to be an advocate for a child with Asperger’s. You also have to teach the child to be an advocate for himself or herself. Not everyone understands your child, help them to learn more about the disorder so that they can help your child do his or her best.
  • Help your child and those that work with your child understand thinks and acts differently. The Asperger’s brain is wired different than a “normal” brain. This doesn’t make your child “dumb” – in fact many with Asperger’s are very intelligent. It just means they are different.
  • Make sure that your child with Asperger’s knows his or her address, phone number and parent’s or caregiver’s name. If your child becomes distracted and gets lost, this information will help them get home.


Asperger's In The Classroom

After I have breakfast, I go to Mrs. Lane’s class. We have to do the Pledge of the Legiance. We’re supposed to have our hand on our heart and look at the flag. I don’t understand why we do that, so sometimes I look around and dance and giggle. Mrs. Lane looks at me with that look that tells me to stop. I like Mrs. Lane so I stop.

Mrs. Lane understands me. She lets me work in the back of the room where I don’t have to look at the other kids. They make me nervous, because they all know what they are supposed to do. I don’t. One day, a boy told me to hit a girl. He said she would like it. He said Mrs. Lane wouldn’t be mad if I did. So I hit her. Not real hard, but it made her cry. I didn’t understand why she was crying. It scared me, because I thought she would like it. So I hit her again. This time it was a little harder. Mrs. Lane was mad at me when she found out. She said I should know better. I told her the boy said I should do it. Then she said that I needed to not listen to him anymore. That boy laughed at me later. I wanted to hit him, too, but I didn’t want Mrs. Lane to get mad at me again.

How To Develop Social Skills For People With Asperger's Syndrome

  • Make sure your child knows about stranger dangers. Let them know that they can’t trust all people and they should only go with people that you have okayed.


  • Children in the autism spectrum, including those with Asperger’s obsess over different things. It could be a subject such as dinosaurs or trucks, or it can be an activity such as spinning things or video games. Although it is common, you, as a parent or caregiver, must teach regulation with the obsessions.


Rest and Relax At Lunch and Recess

When we are done with reading, we go outside to play. I play under the slide in the sand. I like holding the sand up and letting it fall through my fingers. Sometimes I am so busy playing that I don’t hear the whistle. I was late for lunch one day, because the playground ladies didn’t know I was under the slide. I didn’t get scared. But Mrs. Lane did when she didn’t see me in the line later. I just stayed and played in the sand.

In the lunchroom, I sit at my own table by myself. I like to put out all of my stuff all over the table. If I sit with other people, they don’t understand and start pushing my food around. I don’t like other people touching my food. One of the lunch ladies was nice and moved me to my table when that happened. I like sitting here. I always take a long time to eat, too. If I’m at the other tables, I stare at the other kids and forget to eat. So it’s better that I am by myself.

How To Develop Social Skills For People With Asperger's Syndrome

  • Remember that children with Asperger’s are extremely honest about things. This leads to some comments that can be considered rude. I have been called old, ugly and mean by children in the spectrum. In their minds they are not being rude or inconsiderate, they are just telling it like it is. You will have to teach them how to talk to people without hurting feelings.


  • You have to teach your child with Asperger’s how to read facial expression and what they mean. Children with Asperger’s don’t understand body language and how to tell what a person is thinking or feeling. While it is somewhat easy for people not in the spectrum, we have to teach our children in the spectrum these things.


Asperger's and Music

After lunch we go to Music. I like music a lot. When we play the music, it calms me down. But sometimes I forget that I am not supposed to play with the instruments. I like the big things they call the Boom Whackers. They make a cool noise. It kind of sounds like a drum if you play it right. But the music teacher doesn’t like it. He wants me to sit and pay attention. I think I am paying attention. I forget that I am supposed to be listening to him. He says that he understands me. But I wonder if he really does. He forgets that I don’t like to be with a group of kids and he makes me sit with them and work with them. He wants me to talk to them. When that happens, I walk away and sit by myself. He gets upset at me and writes bad things in my behavior book. That’s okay though. Mrs. Campbell checks by folder and tells me to do my best.

How To Develop Social Skills For People With Asperger's Syndrome

  • Remember that children with Asperger's syndrome don't always recognize sarcasm. If you are working with a child with Asperger's remember not to use sarcasm - it will just frustrate both of you.

Asperger's And Art

After music we go to art class. Art class is really hard. I have to sit completely still and listen to the teacher. She tells us exactly how to do things. If we don’t do it right, we can get in trouble. She thinks it’s easy for me to sit still, but it’s not. I try. I try to listen and do what she says, but something else is going on inside my head. I am thinking of ways to use the stuff in her room. She has lots and lots of stuff all around. She has the tubes that used to have paper towels on them, lots of paper that is every different color, and all types of things that some people throw away. The art teacher yells at me when I touch the stuff. I thought it was there for me to use. But I’m not sure. She also wants me to make the stuff just like she makes it. I can’t do it. She makes me feel that I am not good enough to do art.

How To Develop Social Skills For People With Asperger's Syndrome

  • A behavior folder can be as simple as a piece of paper to write behaviors on or as elaborate as you want it to be. My favorite behavior folder is just a pocket folder with the brads in the middle. I put in a page that has the day broken down into 30 minute increments. Each 30 minute period has a series of "smileys." One is a happy face, one is a straight face with no emotion and one is a sad face. For each period of time, the teacher circles the appropriate smiley.

Asperger's Behavior

After art, I go and talk to Mrs. Campbell again. She looks at my behavior book. She talks to me about what is in the book. If I have a really great day, she gives me a treat. If my day isn’t so good, she just tells me to do better next time. Sometimes we read a story that is about me and how I should act. I like those stories. Sometimes she has a copy of the story that I can take home and read by myself.

How To Develop Social Skills For People With Asperger's Syndrome

  • Remember that a child with Asperger's is just a child. He or she may have different quirks and different ways of thinking or doing things. Just like any other child, children with Asperger's can be extremely bright or have a variety of learning issues. They may need more help with social skills and language issues than other children, but they are still children. They deserve the same love and attention as any other child.

Conclusion

Having Asperger’s Syndrome is tough. Not everyone understands me. They think I am strange. They think that I want to be alone and stay away from everyone else. They don’t know that I want to play with other kids, but I don’t know how. They don’t understand that I have lots of ideas and thoughts that are going through my head. Maybe one day they will understand that I am just a kid and I am just like everyone else.

© 2013 LaDena Campbell

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    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 

      5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Fabulous Hub. I have very good friends whose youngest son has Aspergers. Until I read your Hub, I didn't understand fully the implications. I now understand better the pressures on these two friends and how they are being driven apart as husband and wife by the stress, much as they of course love their son. I will share this Hub with other friends - though not the couple themselves. Thank you.

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Gary - thanks for reading! I'm glad you enjoyed this! I wasn't sure about the format, so I'm glad you liked it!

    • Gary Holdaway profile image

      Gary Holdaway 

      5 years ago from Sleaford, UK

      This hub is really something else. I love the format and more importantly, the information you have put forward.

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Carter - thank you reading! I hope others can find some insight from this! Thanks for the votes and shares!

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Carly - thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it! I have done this before with a child with fetal alcohol syndrome and readers seemed to enjoy it. I plan on doing more like this in the future. I hope someone can find good use from it!

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      This is an excellent article justateacher and so very important for people to get a glimpse inside a child with Asperger's mind. Everyone working or living with someone with Aspergers should read this vital perspective...VUUABI & shared/tweeted etc & will bookmark for future reference...cheers

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 

      5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      I liked how you wrote this in 1st person. It makes it so much more personal. Your tips and suggestions are wonderful. Great hub packed with good information that will benefit anyone who has a child with Asperger's or Autism.

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Bill - thanks for reading! I hope other teachers find this helpful!

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      mperrottet - I, too, wonder what has been causing an increase in autism...I am hoping it comes from new awareness and not something environmental that will make things worse for coming generations....

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Thank you Frank! I am glad you enjoyed this!

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Redberry - thanks for reading! I am glad you liked this!

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      aa lite - I agree - it must be tough to have autism...I am lucky to have met so many wonderful people in this spectrum and they are all wonderful people!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This is such an important article. I have had some contact and interaction with these children, and you are right on with this. Should be read by every single teacher in this country.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 

      5 years ago from San Antonio, FL

      Great article that will certainly promote better understanding of what children diagnosed with Asperger's go through. So many children are being diagnosed with this - I personally know of six kids. Makes you wonder what the increase is from. Voted up, interesting and useful.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      Justateacher you just get more amazing..

    • Redberry Sky profile image

      Redberry Sky 

      5 years ago

      Love the practical information on asperger's, and the glimpse into the mind of a child with the spectrum - really useful and with a human touch.

    • aa lite profile image

      aa lite 

      5 years ago from London

      It must be so hard for people on the autistic spectrum, things that we take completely for granted are not at all obvious to them, but the only reason these things are obvious to us is because our brain is wired in a particular way. That came across really well in your hub.

      I wonder if you've read the book "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime"?

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