July 06, 2005
Recently, a reader asked for some tips for handling a fourth-grade classroom with one child who has Asperger's Syndrome. As you probably are aware, Asperger's is on the Autism spectrum. In all likelihood this child has an IEP. Be sure to touch base with the teacher responsible for writing the IEP as well as the child's parents. They should be able fill you in on any sensory needs this child has, as well as appraising you of his/her academic needs. For example: The student may need to sit in the same seat, which was in the same location all school year. It may also be important to note if the child can handle being touched on the shoulder or back as a form of encouragement. Some children with Asperger's feel a burning sensation if they receive a light touch on their shoulder as compared to a firm touch. This child may also need consistent assistance with getting started on an assignment. Once started, they may be able to complete the assignment. The needs of children with Asperger's vary a great deal. Visit an Autism site for some great advice and reading materials.