I have a child in my room that has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. I have only dealt with one other AS student in my career that has actually been diagnosed. I've had many others that were ADHD, and some that possibly were, but weren't diagnosed. I'm not a special ed teacher, and I have almost no training with students on either ends of the spectrum as far as special needs or "giftedness". But I'm learning. Like I've said before, I teach in a small, private school and we are blessed to have a reference person (many other Christian schools don't) but she's only there ONE day a week for only a few hours. I'm sure there are many of you in my shoes whether you teach in public or private schools.
Here are some things I've tried this year.
-at the beginning of the school day, my AS child goes to a quiet place with his book box to read by himself
-I allow him to sit on my lap during whole group discussions when we are at one of the whole group rugs (he is outside the box on this, as he likes physical contact, unlike most AS kids)
-he holds something for me during discussions
-he is my modeler for many modeling sessions
-I set a timer for his homework and tell him he needs to get a certain amount of work done before the timer goes off
-he has a finger puppet in his desk that he can whisper to when he needs to say something
-I have a rice-filled sock puppet that puts weight on his legs at his desk or at the circle
I have read some great articles that were full of information:
"Teaching and Learning Approaches for Children with Asperger's Syndrome" by Francine Falk-Ross, Mary Iverson and Carol Gilbert from the Council for Exceptional Children
This is from the Council for Exceptional Children website. It has a LOT of good articles on it.
There is also a book that is strictly fiction, but about a teenager with AS that gives insight into the mind of an AS child. It's called "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime." by Mark Haddon.
I know we don't have time to read. These articles, and even the book, are short and easy to read and make use of their ideas. And I'm reading them over time.
Clearly, I am no expert on this subject and am only BEGINNING to learn. But I thought maybe some of you are in the same boat. We need all the tools we can find. If anyone else has ideas, I'd LOVE to hear them!
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