People with Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty with the social aspects of life and often have inappropriate responses to social situations.
The following tips can be useful for parents of Asperger’s children
1-Do not coddle or shelter your child from any situation that might set him/her off. Exposing your child to social situations will allow opportunities for both of you to work through them. With your guidance and over time, your child will be able to learn what the appropriate behaviors are in various situations. In addition, learn what your child’s triggers are to better prepare yourself to diffuse or alter a possible meltdown or display of undesired behavior(s).
2-Be clear in your explanations of expected and/or desired behaviors when the situations arise. Do not expect that your child should know how to behave in different social situations and settings. Walk them through (thoroughly, but with the use of age-appropriate language) appropriate behaviors as well as emotional responses in accordance with the given social situations.
3-Embrace your child’s passion, creativity, humor and energy when he/she exhibits it. With so much attention on changing your child’s behavior, you have to remember to celebrate the amazing traits of his/her personality.
4-Your goal should always be to diffuse the situation. Going head to head with your child will never yield constructive results. If your child has an outburst in any social setting, do not yell at them because that will only make it worse.
5-Since you can’t be with your child all the time, give him/her helpful hints (even if you have to repeat them) by voicing them or leaving little notes in his/her lunchbox, pockets or notebook. For example, when your child goes to lunch and goes to pay the individual at the register, wrap a note around the money to remind him/her to say “thank you”. The types of notes you leave will obviously vary, but the idea is to help remind your child what to do when he/she struggles in a certain social situation.
6-Provide your child with positive feedback whenever possible. If you see that your child has displayed a desirable behavior whether on his/her own or as an effort to improve on a social skill, praise your child. For example, your child gives his/her last cookie to his/her sibling; make sure you compliment your child with something along the lines of “It was so nice of you to give your last cookie to your sister.
7-Create a “safe word” or special phrase between you and your child to use to communicate that he/she is having trouble with or is confused by a situation.
8-Try to work with your child to improve both verbal and nonverbal communication. For example, while speaking with your child, continuously remind them to maintain eye contact.