Autism Aspergers

For any child, fitting in with their peers is an important life skill. 

For the child with High Functioning Autism Aspergers Syndrome, this skill is more challenging than others. 

The child with High Functioning Autism Aspergers Syndrome desperately wants to be part of a group, but doesn’t have the ability to do so on their own.   

The child with High Functioning Autism Aspergers Syndrome is intelligent and is able to determine that they may not be accepted by their peers, which may contribute to social anxiety. 

This anxiety may inhibit their social skills further and cause even more anxiety. 

This creates a vicious circle for the child with High Functioning Autism Aspergers Syndrome, and may lead to depression in some children. 

Children with High Functioning Autism Aspergers Syndrome are unable to read social cues or body language. 

They may possess the verbal skills to interact socially. 

But, they are unable to call upon those skills in a social situation. 

They lack common skills such as eye contact and facial expression. 

Children with High Functioning Autism Aspergers Syndrome may misinterpret conversation as they tend to be very literal. 

They are likely to misunderstand jokes or metaphors. 

A person with High Functioning Autism Aspergers syndrome may be confused or frightened by a statement like “she bit my head off.”   

When communicating with a child with High Functioning Autism Aspergers Syndrome it is helpful to keep your statements short, direct and leave little opportunity for misunderstanding.   

The child with High Functioning Autism Aspergers Syndrome is likely to have difficulty making friends. 

They don’t understand that conversation is a two way street, often communicating in long one-sided conversations, without listening to their partner. 

The may come across as strange or rude in social settings. 

Children with High Functioning Autism Aspergers Syndrome don’t demonstrate empathy for others or understanding for another’s feelings. 

They are also very self-absorbed.   

Children with High Functioning Autism Aspergers Syndrome may display aggressive or challenging behaviors when they become frustrated in social situations.   

Many children with High Functioning Autism Aspergers Syndrome can learn the unwritten rules of socialization and communication when taught social skills, but the approach must be clear and repetitive.  

Children with High Functioning Autism Aspergers syndrome may also learn how to speak in a more natural manner, as well as how to understand communication used by others, such as gestures, eye contact, tone of voice, humor and sarcasm.

Problem solving skills, particularly in social situations, should focus on training the child to recognize a problem situation, and then implement a specific strategy to cope with the situation. 

There are many methods used to teach social skills. 

Role playing activities can be beneficial, provided the methods are used in natural settings. 

Natural settings help the child generalize or transfer information from one setting to another. 

Visual reminders may also be helpful. 

Social skills groups can also be used, giving them the opportunity to immediately practice what they have learned. 

For the child with High Functioning Autism Aspergers Syndrome, social skills training may prove to be the intervention with the biggest payoff. 

Improving their social skills will help them interact at school, reduce their challenging behaviors, reduce their anxiety, and most importantly raise their self-esteem! 

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