10 Activities To Do With Children With Asperger’s

Asperger syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder included within autism spectrum disorders. It is a well-known problem today, which stands out for the presence of difficulties in social interaction and communication (despite the fact that its level of development is normative), the presentation of a pattern of behavior and restricted and monotonous interests. and occasionally hypersensitivity to stimulation.

In Asperger’s syndrome There does not have to be intellectual disability and language development is normative and it is produced correctly, although their communication is not completely effective and they have problems with aspects such as literality and pragmatism. On the other hand, raising children with this type of disorder can be complicated if we do not know how to adequately stimulate them so that they overcome, as far as possible, their difficulties and limitations in areas such as communication and socialization.

In this article we will see a series of possible activities to carry out with children with Asperger’s in order to stimulate them and little by little enhance their capabilities.

Asperger’s: aspects to take into account

When developing or carrying out different activities that can help children with Asperger’s syndrome, it is necessary to take into account the particularities that this disorder represents for these minors.

First of all, it is common for children with Asperger’s to present orn high level of interest in a specific topic or stimulus, such as computing, music, trains or dinosaurs. In many cases they become great experts in these subjects. This theme can be exploited to connect with the minor, generating greater social bonding and can be used to generate interest or help them understand other areas.

It must be remembered that These are minors who tend to be very literal, analytical and objective Therefore, they will tend to prefer that the activities they carry out are based on or can be resolved through the use of logic. They also feel safe with repetitive and routine elements, making changes difficult for them to assimilate.

Another relevant element is the literality with which these children usually understand language, making it difficult for them to grasp irony, double meanings or the figurative meaning of many expressions. The acquisition of competence to identify this type of messages can be trained although it is usually a great difficulty for them. Likewise, they also tend to have difficulties identifying emotions, so practicing activities that can promote this identification can be very useful.

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To those who suffer from Asperger’s syndrome It is often difficult for them to communicate successfully and they have difficulties relating. Likewise, excessive stimulation can overload and disorient them. That is why the games and activities carried out must allow and encourage interaction with others but at the same time without forcing them to do so and respecting their living space.

Children with Asperger’s syndrome often have unique needs and preferences when it comes to activities. Engaging in the right kind of activities can not only provide them with fun and enjoyment but also help in their development and social skills. Here are some activities tailored for children with Asperger’s:

1. Structured Play

Structured play activities provide clear rules and guidelines, which can be comforting for children with Asperger’s. Board games, puzzles, and building sets like LEGO offer opportunities for structured play where they can focus on specific tasks and goals.

2. Sensory-Friendly Activities

Many children with Asperger’s may have sensory sensitivities. Opt for activities that cater to their sensory needs, such as sensory bins filled with various textures like rice, beans, or sand. Sensory-friendly art projects using different materials can also be enjoyable.

3. Nature Walks and Outdoor Exploration

Nature walks and outdoor exploration provide a calming environment for children with Asperger’s. They can engage with nature, observe wildlife, and enjoy the sensory experiences of being outdoors. Encourage activities like birdwatching, collecting leaves, or simply playing in the park.

4. Special Interests Exploration

Children with Asperger’s often have intense interests in specific topics. Encourage them to explore their interests through activities like visiting museums, attending workshops, or watching educational videos related to their favorite subjects. This not only nurtures their passions but also helps them develop expertise in areas of interest.

5. Social Skills Building Games

Engage children with Asperger’s in games and activities that focus on building social skills. Role-playing games, cooperative board games, and team sports with clear rules can help them learn important social cues, turn-taking, and cooperation.

6. Art and Creativity

Artistic activities provide an outlet for self-expression and creativity. Offer art supplies like crayons, markers, paints, and clay for children to explore different mediums. Art therapy sessions or guided drawing exercises can also be beneficial in helping them express their emotions and thoughts.

7. Technology-Based Activities

Many children with Asperger’s have a natural affinity for technology. Utilize educational apps, interactive games, and online resources that align with their interests and learning goals. Virtual tours, coding programs, and digital art platforms can be both engaging and educational.

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8. Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy, such as interacting with therapy animals like dogs or horses, can have profound benefits for children with Asperger’s. The presence of animals can provide comfort, reduce anxiety, and improve social interaction skills in a non-judgmental setting.

9. Music and Movement

Engage children with Asperger’s in activities that involve music and movement. Dancing, playing musical instruments, or participating in music therapy sessions can be enjoyable ways for them to express themselves and regulate their emotions.

10. Cooking and Baking

Cooking and baking activities offer opportunities for sensory exploration, following instructions, and practicing patience. Involve children in simple cooking tasks like measuring ingredients, mixing batter, or decorating cookies. Cooking together also fosters bonding and communication.

By incorporating these activities into their daily routine, parents, caregivers, and educators can provide children with Asperger’s opportunities for learning, growth, and enjoyment tailored to their unique needs and interests.

Examples of activities with Asperger children

Below are some activities that promote the stimulation of children with Asperger syndrome. Most of them allow you to stimulate communication and socialization in addition to promoting some other skills.

1. The mirror

Imitation games are a good way to encourage the child to notice the behaviors of others and learn different skills and sequences of behaviors. Thus, can be used as a way to learn actions It can be done between two people or in a group.

One of the people stands in front of the child or group of children and does an action, which the others must imitate. The actions to imitate can be very simple initially, but become more complicated as the child gains mastery of the skill in question. It also favors the establishment of emotional bonds and communication.

2. Pass the buck

A very simple game that encourages communication and observation of characteristics. It is based on the participants (be it the family or the class group) passing a ball to each other, saying in each pass a characteristic of the person to whom they send the ball

3. Pictionary

Interpretation is often a complex aspect for children with Asperger’s. Through games such as pictionary in which pairs are formed of which one has to interpret what the other draws without further clues, it is possible to stimulate the ability to interpret what the other communicates. Interpersonal relationships and language are favored.

4. Theater/Role Plays

Role-playing a scene can be a fun way to get children with Asperger’s to incorporate outside perspectives. Act as a doctor, teacher or cook or have them practice activities such as going shopping can help develop your theory of mind and empathy when experiencing a role other than one’s own. In addition, it can also help you acquire greater competence in some basic skills.

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5. Mimic: Tell me how I feel

One of the areas in which individuals with Asperger’s have great difficulty is in recognizing emotions in other people, for example from facial expressions. They also often have difficulty recognizing and expressing their own emotions. Working on this recognition is essential.

To do this, an activity that can be carried out is the representation of specific emotional states from modeling. It can be carried out alone with the child with Asperger’s or in groups. The adult must select an emotion and represent it through mimicry. After the performance, he has to explain in a simple way a situation in which he may feel this way. The child has to try to guess, from among several options given beforehand, which emotion is being worked on. After that he must try to represent it himself.

6. Movie fragments

The use of short films or fragments of films can be effective in improving emotion recognition. Before viewing them, some typical characteristics of the expression of certain emotions will be explained. Next you will be provided with cards that represent a face representing the emotion in question. Afterwards, several selected scenes are broadcast in which the expression of the emotion occurs, and the child in question must assign a face to each of the scenes broadcast.

7. Creation of schedules

Rules and establishing routines are very important elements for children with autism spectrum disorder since it allows them to have a record of what is going to happen soon.

Creating a visual schedule with your child that they can recognize can help them feel safe. Especially when it comes to young children, it is common to use images and photographs representative of an activity and stick them on a cloth using Velcro, so that each day they can have a more or less clear vision of what they have to do at a certain time.

8. Games based on construction and crafting

Using activities in which children with Asperger’s can observe and use logical patterns can serve both to develop your cognitive skills to calm them in moments of anxiety. An example is the use of puzzles and construction games such as LEGO. Also the creation of crafts and the use of clay and plasticine. It serves to develop their fine motor skills and creativity.

9. Share by teaching

The fact that children with Asperger’s usually have restricted interests of which they can become great experts can be taken advantage of in multiple ways. One of them is based on exposing and teaching your knowledge regarding the topic of your interest. It is possible through this type of activity encourage interaction and promote the autonomy of the minor as well as his leadership capacity.

10. Games and physical activity

Carrying out physical activity is essential to develop psychomotor skills. It is recommended to practice sports that can be introduced little by little, without requiring sudden contact with a large group of people. Games that may require taking turns are also recommended, so that learn to respect other people’s time Games like English hide-and-seek or wall-pick have rules that are easy to understand and apply.