Kids with Asperger’s syndrome have trouble with social interactions. They often cannot read non-verbal cues and have trouble taking turns in conversation. Creating a group of kids with Asperger’s syndrome will help them feel less isolated and improve their self-esteem. The group can be a safe place for kids to practice their social skills, first by role playing within the group, and then outside of the group on field trips or other outing.
Social Group Meetings
A group of six to eight kids with Asperger’s who are about the same age will make a perfect social group. It is best to find kids with differing interests. If you have two or three kids who perseverate on Civil War history, for example, you may find that it is impossible to shift the conversation to other topics. Include both boys and girls in the group, if possible. Since Asperger’s is much more common in boys, you may not find many girls. If you do, try to have at least two girls in the group.
Encourage the group to participate in social events at their school, such as dances. They can practice together and attend the event together, providing support to one another. Local sporting events can provide a way for kids to have short interactions with other kids, and guidance from an adult can often be provided without calling attention to the child.
Taking a field trip to a nearby destination is a great way for kids with Asperger’s to practice their social interactions. The adult leaders of the group can prepare the kids ahead of time so they will know what to expect, and they can role play situations they may encounter. Before taking a trip to a farm, for example, the kids might think about whether they would want to milk a cow -- and if so -- how they might ask the farmer to show them how to do it. Other opportunities for field trips include local historical sites, or factories that give tours.
Events for Asperger’s Kids
AMC Movie Theaters have sensory-friendly film showings once a month. Films are shown with the lights up and the sound turned down, and the audience is welcome to get up and walk around, or even dance or sing. Kids with Asperger’s syndrome or other autism spectrum disorders can enjoy the experience of seeing a movie in a theater in a comfortable, non-threatening way.