Do you have any tips for increasing organizational skills in a pre-teen with Asperger’s?
For older children with Asperger’s, organizational skills are essential for success at school and at home. These skills include planning, scheduling, time management, and physical organization, just to name the basics. Most people tend to take these skills for granted. However, many individuals with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) really struggle in this area.
Parents can start building these skills at a young age in their child with Asperger’s. Organizational skills can begin with simple chore charts and visual schedules. As the child grows, these tools become more detailed, more sophisticated, with less parental involvement. It is okay if you are beginning to teach these skills at a later age. These skills can be improved upon at any age. Here are some tips for increasing organizational skills.
- Teach your child to schedule time for activities and assignments. A visual timer or an electronic alarm can help. Timer and clock applications for the iPod and iPad are excellent tools to use in this case. Your child can decide to participate in an activity for a set amount of time and set the alarm to keep track of his schedule.
- Break down chores, assignments, and activities into small, convenient steps. For example, a book report due on Friday can be written in small daily increments, making the assignment more manageable and less time consuming.
- Encourage your child to keep a daily planner with calendars, checklists, and schedules. He can spend a few minutes each night updating his planner and in turn, he will avoid missed appointments and assignment due dates.
- Help your child organize his belongings. A messy room is mentally exhausting, not to mention, physically chaotic. If everything has a home, he will always know where his things are. Periodic de-clutter sessions can keep his room organized and in check.
Strengthening your child with Asperger’s organizational skills will prove to be a great benefit as he enters the middle school and high school years. Schools expect less parental involvement and more independence through the years. Gradually building your child’s organizational skills and completely turning over this responsibility will benefit your child greatly.