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When we meet a child or have a child with Asperger syndrome, many questions arise: What can we do to help him? Do you need therapy? What activities are most suitable for him? Within the framework of the school year, it is also frequent to ask what are the best after-school activities for kids with Asperger's, those that will help them develop their skills.
Asperger's syndrome is a common but still poorly understood neurodevelopmental disorder. It is part of the Autism Spectrum Disorders, (TORCH). People with Asperger Syndrome have difficulties in communication and social interaction, cognitive or behavioral flexibility. This disorder shares central characteristics with autism, but we can say that they differ from it in degree.
They have difficulties to understand and interpret non-verbal communication, they are 'literal' in language and it is difficult for them to understand and grasp ironies, double meanings. In addition, it is often difficult for them to 'imagine' situations or put themselves in circumstances that they have not lived or experienced.
When choosing extracurricular activities for them, a series of previous aspects must be taken into account.
1. Let the monitors know about Asperger's syndrome
We must ensure that the professional or professionals who are going to carry out the extracurricular activity know, understand and know how to handle our son. It is not difficult for complicated or complex situations to arise, especially related to the social, relational or emotional area, so having a professional who knows how to mediate and manage these situations is very important.
At any given moment, if the child is receiving treatment in a specialized center, it may be convenient for the professional who works with the child to collaborate and advise the professionals who carry out the extracurricular activity.
2. Find an activity that you like
As for the type of activity we choose, as with any other child, it will be important that the child himself chooses or decides which activity he likes the most. Although there may be more indicated and appropriate activities, the important thing is that we respect and let them choose.
[Read +: Extracurricular activities according to the age of the children]
3. Group or individual activities?
If my child has relationship problems, group or individual activities? We may think that since it is difficult for him to interact with other children, a team sport such as basketball, soccer or hockey is the best thing for him. The answer is yes and no; yes, if the boy or girl likes soccer or basketball and wants to practice it, and no, if it is a forced activity for him.
Remember that social relationship difficulties do not improve only with participation in a group. In this case, it requires training and that they acquire a series of tools and skills to function without difficulty.
We cannot forget that there are activities that are done with more children, but not necessarily in groups. Sports such as karate, judo, swimming, tennis ... All of them are activities in which the child interacts with others, but without necessarily having to work in a group.
We must find a balance between the child's enjoyment and look for activities that enhance and help the child in the development of certain skills. Therefore, receiving the help and advice of professionals who work with the child is very useful.
4. Why not a sports activity
Regarding whether to choose a sports activity or not, we must bear in mind that sports and physical activity are very important for the development of children (of all children). Therefore, as long as it is not too difficult for our son and the activity is well planned and structured for him, it would be good to introduce it into his repertoire of activities.
Once we take into account the previous guidelines, and as a summary, these are some of the characteristics or requirements that we should look for in the extracurricular activities to which we aim a child with Asperger's:
- That it is a structured activity and that it is well organized.
- Let it be to our son's liking.
- That motivates the child and obtain positive and pleasant experiences.
- To be offered the necessary aid for their integration in the group and / or in the activity.
- That the professionals who develop the activity understand, understand and be sensitive to the needs of the child with Asperger's.
What after-school class have you enrolled your child in with Asperger's?
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