How to help a person with Asperger’s syndrome

Understanding how a person with Asperger syndrome views and interacts with the world around them is key to helping and communicating with them effectively.

Need for routine

  • It can be very difficult for people with Asperger syndrome to predict or plan what will happen at any given event or time. Routine is often, the only way someone with Asperger syndrome can have a sense of predictability or control over events.
  • It may also mean that a change to that routine can be very disruptive and upsetting. Young children may impose their routines, such as insisting on always walking the same route to school.

Processing information

  • For most people, the majority of information received by the brain is automatically disregarded as unimportant. Many people with Asperger syndrome have difficulty with sifting through the important and unimportant information, therefore taking in a lot of details that others might miss.
  • Although a positive trait at times, decision making and prioritising what is important can be very difficult with so much information to sort through. For some, making a decision over what to have for lunch, for example, can be a very time consuming and tiring process. Because of this they may need help restricting their options or structuring a timetable to reduce the incidents of decision making.

Learning

  • People with Asperger syndrome tend to learn more effectively when things are presented visually, rather than orally.
  • When tackling a task, many people with Asperger syndrome will do it in the way they did it before, even if that method did not work. They may recognise that it doesn’t work and may have been told a better way of performing the task, but still find themselves doing it the same way as before.
  • It is often only in the action of doing something in the correct manner that someone will learn to do it that way again. Working alongside someone with Asperger syndrome and guiding them through a task can be an effective teaching method.

Physical abilities

  • For some people with Asperger syndrome, poor motor / organisational skills and clumsiness may be an additional difficulty. They may find difficulty with games that involve gross motor and social skills, such as football. Awareness of this can be beneficial, and alternatives suggested.

 If you are looking for support to help someone you know with Asperger syndrome, please look at what we do and the services we provide.


Further information

For more information on Asperger syndrome see:

Symptoms of Asperger syndrome

Living with Asperger syndrome