If you are a teacher and if you have one or more students with Asperger’s Syndrome in your class, the impact they create on the classroom environment may be much different from what children with Autism create. At the same time, each student with Asperger’s Syndrome will be different also. You may face a number of challenges while handling them and in maintaining your classroom environment.
Understanding these students and handling them
You should first realize that these children are different and they need a different type of handling. You should be ready to bestow your special attention on them. Asperger’s Syndrome may be very difficult to identify because these children may be obedient, may abide by instructions and may shine well in their studies. You may be misguided by their behaviors because you may tend to think that they are their normal self in being obedient. Only when you closely observe that they are poor in establishing and maintaining relationships and in engaging in interactions with others, you may come to know that all is not right with them.
Acquiring as much knowledge as possible about Asperger’s Syndrome
You should spend considerable time to browse the Net and study various other materials available about this problem. You should learn as much as possible about it. You can see various types of behaviors in these children. You should be ready to face these behaviors because they may affect the whole classroom environment.
Do not allow anxiety to creep in
Changes and transitions may cause worry in students with Asperger’s Syndrome. You should avoid imposing sudden changes on them. Instead, you can devise a suitable strategy to introduce changes in a calibrated pattern so that they are not affected.
Make them understand
Children affected by Asperger’s Syndrome may not be able to distinguish between essential information and not-so-important information. They may not remember the past information they have acquired or past experiences they have had. So, you should keep stating the obvious also repeatedly and loudly. This will help them understand the meanings of the actions. You should not lose patience in this process.
Use simple and lucid language
Never use complicated language to convey your messages. Be slow while talking with them. Never forget that they may not understand the concealed meanings in your words because they may have difficulties in understanding abstract things. So, sarcasm and words that may have multiple interpretations should not find a place in your language. Your instructions should be specific, clear, brief and to the point. If you combine facial expressions also, they may understand them more easily.
Do not introduce sudden changes in plans
You must avoid introducing sudden changes in plans. But this may not always be possible. So, you should impress upon them and make them understand that there may be changes in the schedules or plans. You should tell them about the backup plans in advance so that they are mentally prepared for the changes. For example, it is better to keep them informed about the assemblies, drills like fire drills, testing schedules and so on. Never forget that usual events like annual vacations, beginning of a new school year, a new class environment may also cause anxiety in them.