At School of Transformation we are equipped and experienced to cater to the educational, emotional and social needs of children living with Asperger Syndrome. A disorder on the autism spectrum Asperger Syndrome (ASD) is considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome will suffer from social awkwardness and exhibit a limited range of interests. They also have the tendency to show repetitive behaviour. The behaviour of an Asperger’s child is often misunderstood as disobedience or defiance when in fact; the child simply cannot control their behaviour, which is a function of the disorder that they are suffering.
Signs that your child might have Asperger’s Syndrome:
- Fixation on one activity for hours on end with no distraction.
- Advanced verbal and talking skills which can lead to their topic of interest being discussed repetitively to whoever will listen.
- Inability to read social cues.
- Getting upset when something new is suddenly added to the daily routine.
- Emotional meltdowns or the inability to control emotions when things don’t go according to the expected plan.
- Unusual body language, which often presents in strange facial expressions, looking awkward, staring or even completely avoiding eye contact.
- Lack of empathy for anyone.
- Literal language / speech translations. Often children with Asperger Syndrome won’t understand sarcasm, jokes or irony.
It is not uncommon to find an Asperger child showing signs of academic strength. These strengths can be developed considerably if the right teaching and guidance methods are used. In fact, with the right teaching technique and environment, you can expect a child suffering from Asperger to excel. Sending a child with Asperger Syndrome to a regular school can result in issues arising in terms of building relationships and interacting socially with peers.
At School of Transformation we understand just how difficult it can be to select a school to handle the care and education of your child suffering from Asperger Syndrome. We strongly believe that we have a lot to offer both you and your child.
How We Cater to Children with Asperger Syndrome at School of Transformation:
- Our teachers are trained on the various barriers to learning.
- We operate on “Asperger time”. This means that we slowly and meticulously work through tasks without rushing or overwhelming students. We understand that Asperger students need a little more time to complete tasks and to cater to this, we:
- Prepare the environment – Asperger children need consistency and don’t take well to unexpected schedule changes. We cater to this.
- Keep it simple. Our teachers speak slowly and deliberately with easy-to-understand language. It is important for our lessons to be clear and specific especially in terms of instructions, to ensure that each child is on the same page.
- Facilitate plans that need to change. We gently help students understand the changing, cancelling and rescheduling of plans. We share all information on plans with students in advance and prepare them for change as much as we can.
- Frequent reassurance is provided so that students know that they are doing the right thing and correctly carrying out the required tasks.
- Provide praise – our teachers will ensure that each student is encouraged and commended on a daily basis. We compliment both success and when students try to succeed.
We encourage social engagement with peers
A child with Asperger Syndrome will experience social awkwardness. At School of Transformation, we encourage our students to interact with their peers in order to build long lasting relationships. Peers often see children with Asperger Syndrome as unusual and as a result, they are often bullied and teased by other children. Unfortunately, these children are unable to differentiate between playful and nasty interactions. At School of Transformation we address all forms of bullying promptly.
Children interacting with Asperger Syndrome sufferers must be educated on the disorder and how it presents itself. In this way, we are able to encourage healthy interaction with your child and other children in their social group. With the aid of our team, a social group or buddy system can be set up to ensure that your child is not left isolated in the school environment.
We manage behavioural challenges
School can be overwhelming for students with Asperger Syndrome, especially when you consider the academic and social situations they will need to deal with. Some of the problems your child might experience include difficulty understanding a change in schedule and feeling confused as a result, misunderstanding of directions and instructions, poor peer interaction, inability to anticipate change. Your child might also have unusual reactions to other stressors such as odours, lighting, noise and similar. These stressors can result in tantrums and meltdowns for which our team is well equipped and experienced to handle. Asperger students aren’t often able to verbally express when they are feeling stressed. We manage this behaviour by managing the academic and social environment and providing each child with sensory support. We also help students to accept change and modify their expectations
If you would like to learn more about how we can cater to the educational, emotional and social needs of your child living with Asperger Syndrome, please contact us at School of Transformation today.