For many, the proper diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome may give rise to the larger problem of how to manage Aspergers syndrome behavior.
There are guidelines which can be of assistance in establishing practices designed to help those with aspergers syndrome develop skills which can lessen the impact of the disorder. These include the following:
- Teaching basic skills and concepts should be endeaken with sufferes of aspergers syndrome in an explicit and deliberate manner with an explanation as to how the parts fit into a larger whole.
- Social awareness may need to be instructively promoted rather than intuitively learned, with focus being given to specific examples of appropriate behavior in discreet situations. A clear emphasis on the difference between the perceptions of a person with aspergers syndrome as distinct from others should be explained.
- Regular visitation of problem solving techniques, with a focus on providing step-by-step strategies to effectively recognize and deal with common everyday difficulties.
- The practice of simultaneously interpreting visual and auditory stimuli should be cultured with a view to assisting an aspergers syndrome sufferer in classifying non-verbal behavior, and understanding how that behavior correlates with verbal communication. The implications of eye-contact, non-verbal communication such as hand gestures, facial expression, and obvious body language should be explored. Changes in tone, inflection, and figurative language should be instructively broad, with increasing specificity over time.
- Self adequacy may be enhanced by increasing the adaptive skills of those with aspergers syndrome. Rote learning of specific activities, such as travel or meeting strangers, should be verbally taught and rehered in order that sequential repetition can give rise to learned behavior. Subsequent reinforcement of those routines should be instituted by coordination and communication with those responsible for the indivuals ongoing care, welfare and development. Consistency in routine will be a significant factor in it's assimilation by the individual into behavior patters.
- Self awareness and evaluation may need to be independently encouraged to both enable individuals with aspergers syndrome to perceive appropriate behavior in different social circumstances, and to assist with self esteem when such situations are successfully managed. Again, pre-learned strategies applied in practice to specific examples will compliment the cognitive abilities of those with aspergers.
- The establishment of a 'safety-net' for circumstances where an aspergers syndrome individual encounters a novel situation should be implemented, with a pre-planned course of action to be undertaken.
- The link between certain anxiety provoking experiences and resulting feelings of frustration and depression should be explicitly taught in a 'cause and effect' manner in order to engender within the aspergers syndrome individual some insight into their own emotions. This can also assist in gaining empathetic response by enabling the individual to have some awareness of the feelings of others. The individual with aspergers syndrome should be encouraged to monitor their own speech patters, and be instructed as to the interpretation which others may place upon it.
- To assist with age-appropriate communication with their peer group, aspergers syndrome individuals may be assisted by instructions on how to manage topics of discussion, the importance of topic expansion, closing discussions, and gaining comfort in mutual engagement.
- Ultimately, a combination of learned behavior may be explored to establish guidelines to prevent disruptive behavior, assist in more intuitive decision making, and participate in open forms of communication.
The integration of these types of behavior management strategies can be assisted by their coordination both in the home, and in the case of children, at school. With proper management and professional assistance, a pro-active and integrated approach to managing aspergers syndrome behavior can be of both short term and long term benefits to those afflicted by it.