What Asperger’s Students Wish you Knew……
1. Essay Questions are not my friend!!!!
2. Although I have some issues…….. I am still a kid (teen), I want friends, I want to have a girlfriend/boyfriend, and I want others to like me.
3. Just because you don’t think I am being bullied and I don’t tell you or admit when you ask or you don’t see the signs, doesn’t mean it isn’t occurring.
4. Just because I didn’t complete my work doesn’t mean I am dumb or lazy, it most often means that I didn’t understand the directions and am fearful of doing it incorrectly, or I am possibly overwhelmed by the magnitude of the assignment or lastly, it is something I have previously done and don’t understand why I am required to do it again.
5. I need very clear and decisive instructions given in step order. Please refrain from using fluff words, jabber, or slang, I don’t understand “social language”.
6. I need more time to communicate when in a stressful situation such as when you are confronting me about a behavior or an issue. My mind works differently and I need time to process.
7. I like to follow the rules and I believe everyone should follow the rules. If not, there shouldn’t be a rule.
8. I am a linear thinker and everything has to make sense to me for me to do it
9. I am straight forward, I say what I think. Although this often appears as rudeness, it isn’t my intention.
10. I can get obsessed with certain topics, objects, or situations which are not common topics of interest for kids my age.
11. I lack self-confidence due to the lack of successful friendships in my life besides family
12. I do not understand “social rules” especially the hidden ones that I haven’t been taught. I often get in people’s space and invade their privacy.
13. If stressed or overwhelmed, I shut down…. I became very anxious and can make myself sick due to worry.
14. If I am “acting out”, or appear angry, please do not touch me, it makes me feel worse and I will do whatever necessary to get away from you or get you to leave me alone.
15. Please do not treat me like I am a baby, like I am retarded, or like I am incompetent. I am not any of those things, I do have needs but I want to be treated like everyone else if possible. Please try not to single me out and embarrass me in front of my peers.
16. I am extremely smart, (often times smarter than my parents and my teachers) I just have a difficult time expressing myself.
17. I didn’t ask to be this way…. This is just the way I turned out, so please don’t treat me like it is MY FAULT!
18. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…….Remember this fact when interacting with my parents
19. I may often display unusual behavior due to sensory defensiveness. I sometimes can become overwhelmed by stimuli such as loud noises, sudden noise, or high pitched noises…. Sometimes to calm myself I may rock, stare off, pace or leave the area. Please be understanding as I learn to moderate my own behavior.
20. I am not a fan of change. I like routines and I like to follow a schedule. It is difficult for me to transition quickly especially without warning. I often have difficulty with substitutes, assemblies and other changes that can take place without proper notice. Although still disturbed I can tolerate when appropriate warnings are given ahead of time which allows me time to prepare and process the upcoming change.
Check back for a follow up posts on what you as a parent or teacher can do to assist students in these noted areas….