Counseling Students with Aspergers Syndrome by wuyunqing


									Counseling Students
  with Asperger’s
                    Presented by:
               Kathy Stangel, M.A.Ed.
          Oak Lawn Hometown District 123
Counseling Graduate Student, Governors State University
           History and Statistics
• First described and named by Leo Kanner in 1944, the
  mysterious disability of autism is characterized by a
  peculiar emotional intellectual detachment from other
  people and the common human world.

• Although symptoms vary in nature and severity,
  language and the capacity for a normal social life are
  always seriously affected.

• Two to four out of 10,000 children are autistic, 75% of
  them are boys. (Courtesy Curt Warner Autism
  Campaign -
• Linked to biological or neurological differences
  in the brain.
• In many families, there appears to be a pattern
  of autism-which suggests there is a genetic base
  to the disorder - although at this time there has
  been no gene linked to autism.
• NOT a mental illness; NOT caused by bad
  parenting; and children with autism are NOT
  unruly kids who chose not to behave.
• Usually comorbid with ADHD, Speech-
  Language disorder, or Tourette’s disorder.
           Social Characteristics
• Prefers to spend time alone rather than with others.
• Little or no interest in making friends.
• Low response to social cues: teacher “looks” of
  disappointment, verbal tones, eye contact, smile.
• Short attention span.
• Lack of spontaneous or imaginative play.
• Does not initiate pretend play.
• Tantrums for no apparent reason
• Obsessive interest in single item, idea, activity.
• Difficulty mixing with other children
• Have inappropriate laughing and giggling, or
  show little or no eye contact - school personnel
  should not take this personally.
• Resist changes to routine. If a session with an
  Autistic child is changed, it may cause a
  breakdown or tantrum. Keeping consistent
  schedules will help maintain the “peace”.
• Echolalia (repeating words or phrases in place of
  normal language).
• Inappropriate attachment to objects.
• Limited response to peer pressure.
• Unaware of the codes of social conduct (close
• Special interests that dominate person’s time and
            Cognitive Ability

•   Encyclopedic memory.
•   Tactile sensitivity.
•   Visual learning style.
•   Preference for routines.
•   Limited flexibility in thinking.
       Building Friendship Skills
•   Level 1: Pre-school to 6 years
•   Level 2: Ages 6 – 9
•   Level 3: Ages 9 – 13
•   Level 4: Adolescence to Adult
    (Tony Attwood, 2001)

• Social Stories
    Level 1: Pre-school – 6 years
• Recognition of turn taking
• Proximity and physical attributes
• Why is ______ your friend? (“I like him” “He
  lives next door”)
• Observing natural play of child’s peers.
• Inclusion with other children who can modify
  their play to accommodate the child.
          Level 2: Ages 6 - 9
• Reciprocity and being fair.
• Like the same activities.
• Aware of the preferences, feelings and
  thoughts of the other person.
• Why is ____ your friend? (“She comes to
  my party and I go to hers” “She’s nice to
         Level 3: Ages 9 - 13

• Aware of other’s opinion of them and how
  their words and actions affect the feelings
  of others.
• Shared experiences and interests.
• Greater selectivity and durability.
• Gender split.
• Trust, loyalty and keeping promises.
  Level 4: Adolescences to Adult
• Peer group acceptance more important that the
  opinion of parents.
• Desire to be understood by friends.
• Different types of friendship.
• “He/she accepts me for who I am”
• “We think the same way about things”
• Most complaints from Asperger’s – no one
  accepted me for who I was, they wanted me to be
  just like them.
              Social Stories
        (developed by Carol Gray)
• Using student’s above average skills in reading
  comprehension and visualizing.
• Describe what most of us dismiss as obvious.
• Social stories can be used for basic skills (i.e.
  brushing teeth, hygiene) to visits to the doctor
  or making friends.
• Basing stories on individual student’s needs.
 Guidelines to Writing Social Stories
• In first person.
• In present or future (upcoming event) tense.
• As though student is describing the event to
• At student’s level of comprehension.
• In a positive manner.
    Guidelines to Writing Social Stories

Use “Wh” questions:
•   WHO is present.
•   WHAT they are doing.
•   WHERE the situation occurs.
•   WHEN it occurs.
•   WHY
•   Use directive in HOW to respond (i.e., I can try,
    I will try, I will work on, etc.).
 Guidelines to Writing Social Stories
• Watch for literal interpretations
• Be specific
• Use the words “usually” and “sometimes”
  (especially when describing other people’s
• Mention variations in routine.
• Provide visual, concrete information.
           Layout of a Social Story
• Keep in binder or spiral notebook.
• A few sentences per page.
• One aspect or one step of a social situation per page.

Sample story: (When someone changes their mind)
Sometimes a person says, “I changed my mind.” This means they
   had one idea, but now they have a new idea. There are many
   situations where a person may say, “I changed my mind.”
I will work on staying calm when someone changes their mind. It is
   important to try and stay calm. This keeps everyone safe.
     Presentation of Social Stories
•   Read new one first thing in the morning.
•   Read before the event.
•   Review new story daily (at least) for 1-2 weeks.
•   Revise as needed.
•   Write a new story after 1-2 weeks.
•   Don’t forget to insert stories about successes.
       Key Words in Social Stories
    (words to use and teach students)

•   Know             •   Suppose
•   Guess            •   Confuse
•   Learn            •   Expect
•   Decide           •   Hope
•   Topic            •   Anticipate
•   Idea             •   Opinion
•   Wonder           •   Forget
•   Understand       •   Believe
•   Sometimes        •   Usually
Fun Asperger’s Quotes

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