6 Ways to Help Asperger Kids Learn Better Impulse Control
Children with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) have difficulties controlling their impulses. Others may assume that these children are aggressive and rebellious, even if they are not. Their intentions are clear, it’s just that they act without thinking about the consequences of their actions. These children often get into trouble more than their peers in school as they struggle to learn self regulation. Children who have ASD can have personal and academic problems until they get the help they need.
Help children learn to regulate themselves
1. Be specific when giving instructions:
Children with ASD don’t understand vague language, therefore it is very important to give them clear directions and instructions while interacting with them. Prepare a well defined tool to teach these kids what is right and what is wrong as these kids face difficulty to understand social cues and thus it would be a little hard for them to understand how to behave in social situations. For example, instead of telling an Autistic child to “be good,” you’ll need to say to him, “When we go into the store, don’t touch anything unless I give you permission.”
2. Provide Positive Reinforcement:
In order to teach kids cause and effect, give them “points” for good behaviour. This acts as positive reinforcement. Let them redeem these points at the end every week for a reward which holds some kind of value to them. This will help them to connect their actions with specific results threatening the future.
3. Hold your child accountable for his actions:
Teach your children to control their impulses by letting them know that mistakes happen but they are responsible and answerable for their own actions. Help the children if the situation is really hard for them but at the same time they still need to know that their actions are hurting other people and they can’t avoid it.
4. Give your child a daily schedule:
When a proper schedule is given to kids with Asperger, they feel calmer and more in control. In this way, make a proper timetable for them and make sure your child provides cross or wipe off tasks as he completes them. It will give him a feeling of accomplishment.
5. Provide your child with a list of rules:
When you give your child a clear list of rules, it will help him/her to understand where their household boundaries lie and reminds him/her to think before he acts.
6. Guide your child through transitions:
Teach self regulation techniques to children on the spectrum by letting your child know at least ten minutes in advance what you don’t expect him to do and engage in another activity. If he doesn’t stop, give him another reminder after five minutes. Through proper guidance, your child can learn to control his/her impulses and to behave patiently.
Remember that you and your child are not alone. Guidance from a mental health professional is a valuable tool to teach your child how to self-regulate. You and your child do not have to go through life alone with Asperger’s or HFA.