Asperger’s syndrome is a rare condition characterized by difficulty to interact and socialize with other people. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome usually talk before 2 years of age like normal kids do. This is a lifelong condition and the patient will have to struggle with its symptoms like fixed routines, flat speech with no eye contact, and lack of coordination, especially during teen years. Parents and friends of patients could help increase social interaction of teens with Asperger’s Syndrome.
- Consider the teen’s interests. Teens with Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty interacting with other people, especially kids their age. They also have very few interests, so it is very important to take note of their hobbies and interests. Most kids are interested with card games such as Yu-Gi-Ho, Pokémon, Warhammer, Magic and Chaotic. You can go to your local card game shops and ask for schedules of games or tournaments, and bring your teen with you.
- Know their routines. One of the symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome is having very few yet fixed routines. They do not like changes. Remember that you cannot make them change, because it will only irritate them and make them feel unwanted. Get to know their daily routines and let them follow it.
- Talk to them. Teens with Asperger’s may not be able to communicate like other kids their age. They have flat tone of voice and cannot make proper eye contact, but this does not mean that they do not want to talk with you. Talk to them, and make them feel important and wanted.
- Do not push them too hard. Unlike normal growing teens, they have limitations. They have minimal coordination and balance. It may be difficult for them to do certain things such as riding a bike or playing sports. Understand their limits and respect it.
- Do not shout. Talk but do not shout. Loud noises not only irritate them, they also make them agitated and anxious. They usually sulk and withdraw when you shout at them. You can still reprimand them, give commands or tell them if they have done something wrong. Speak at a normal pace, but use a normal tone of voice.
- Listen. Teens with Asperger’s Syndrome talk a lot, mostly about their favorite subject. Try to listen. It may seem like an endless babbling, but it would help boost their confidence if they know that you are taking interest of what they say.
- Do not be easily offended. The unusual behaviors of kids with Asperger’s persist through the teen years. They have poor social interaction, unusual behavior, interests and activities. They may not be aware of their tone of voice or the way they speak. This may seem to appear as disrespect, but you have to understand that these are merely symptoms of their condition.
The key to boost the confidence of teens with Asperger’s Syndrome is to know their condition. You can help them learn how to socialize and interact.