Hard for a Child to Concentrate in Classroom
When Asperger’s Syndrome Makes It Hard for a Child to Concentrate in Class
Some people believe that Asperger’s Syndrome is synonymous with a lower IQ or even some mental retardation.
Nothing could be further from the truth! The mislabeling arose when children with the condition failed to concentrate adequately in class.
Naturally they fell back in their studies and before long trailed behind their classmates in scores and grades.
Drawing the wrong conclusions, the assumption that Asperger’s Syndrome and a lower IQ are related was soon made.
Today it is a known fact that poor concentration skills are actually one of the symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome, and thus teachers and also parents work side by side to enable the kids to do better in the classroom setting.
While it is not possible to hold the child’s hand the entire time and to encourage copious note taking and concentration, there are some things parents and teacher do to foster a better level of concentration and also attention paying.
* Structure classroom activities in such a way that clearly defined transitions alert the child with Asperger’s Syndrome that it is now time to concentrate on something new. Failure to do so may result in the child’s mind wandering and you might find her daydreaming or still thinking about the last activity that took place in the classroom.
* Assign time values to certain activities. An egg timer is a very useful gadget and it helps to limit the child’s inability to concentrate naturally. Just by setting the timer and having an audible signal of transitioning from reading to writing, math to social studies will help the child with Asperger’s Syndrome to shift gears. There may still be times when an incomplete assignment will have to be made up at a later time, but if you allocate time in the classroom for this purpose, you will soon find success.
* Review the child’s writing abilities. If the child spends a lot of time forming letters and numbers and lags behind classmates in this endeavour, it is only logical that concentration on other tasks will lack. It is a good idea to offer remedial writing skills at a later time in the day outside the regular class setting so that the child can speed up his writing.
* Children with Asperger’s Syndrome should be placed in the front of the classroom as opposed to the middle or the back. The less potential distraction from other classmates the child faces, the better he will do in the classroom setting. This also makes it easier concentrating on the facts at hand.
* Teachers and parents can work together on a non verbal clue that helps the child remember to concentrate.
Doing this preserves the child dignity in the classroom setting while at the same time getting the point across that he may be daydreaming or not doing that which needs to be done in step with other classmates. It is imperative that the child, teacher, and caregivers agree on this sign ahead of time, and that the child is frequently reminded of its existence.
Failure to do so may lead to embarrassing situations and some where the child may actually forget what the teacher’s clue is attempting to tell him.