Helping Asperger’s Students Transition to Middle School

Tips for parents to help students with Asperger Syndrome transition to middle school.

Asperger Syndrome is a form of Autism that affects approximately one child in every 150 in the United States. Asperger’s may also be accompanied by other conditions such as ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) that impact a student’s behavior and academic success. Moving from grade school to middle school often involves changes which Asperger’s students find particularly difficult.

A new building, new teachers, new rules, new people, and new expectations can combine to overwhelm any child, but special needs children have an additional set of hurdles to overcome. Parents should be ready to become instrumental in helping their students with the transition by staying involved in a lot of different roles: they should be ready to replace a good essay writing service, at the very least. Follow some of these tips to help your student get organized, do their homework, and succeed in middle school.

New Faces, New Spaces

Asperger’s students often have particular difficulty with changes in routine. They find a schedule comforting and changes can cause them anxiety. Transitioning to a new building and new teachers will be less frightening if the student has multiple chances to visit the new environment and interact with the new teachers.

Schedule at least three visits during the school year previous to the transition. Space the visits out at least three weeks apart so the student has time to process what he has seen and felt. Visit with a small group of other students so that he is not overwhelmed with unwanted attention from the current middle school students.

Encourage the student to participate in a sport or other activity that takes place at the new school during the summer before the transition. Offer help on essay if it’s necessary. He will become familiar with the building without the distraction of other students. Activity with other middle school students will provide an opportunity to make friends for the new year before school starts and the student is distracted with the new schedule.

Practice opening the locker until he is able to open it easily. If the locker is not available for him to practice with, purchase a standard combination lock and have him practice on it. This will help him feel more comfortable with the locker as he will be familiar with the style of lock already.

Get the student’s class schedule as early as possible and have him meet all of the teachers. Practice moving from one class to another until he becomes comfortable with the schedule. Middle school may be his first experience with multiple teachers for multiple subjects. Multiple subjects will require more organizational skills for students.

Organizational Skill Tips

Students with Asperger’s often have difficulty with organizational skills. Worksheets get lost, books don’t come home for homework, projects don’t get done on time – be sure to have a contact of a quick essay writing service on hand for such a case. Help the student get organized before school starts. Purchase a binder and colored folders. Have the student choose a color for each subject and mark the folder clearly. Add one extra folder in the front of the binder for all daily work that needs to be reviewed or brought home. During the day, the student can carry the binder from one class to the next and put any items that need to come home into the proper folder. The binder should come home every day. Insert a planner into the front of the binder also so the student can record all homework and projects with due dates when they are assigned.

Contact the school to see if you can keep an extra copy of any textbooks needed at home. Some textbooks are also available online and may be accessed with a computer. Communicate with teachers regularly to verify that homework is being turned in. Some school systems provide a website where assignments are listed, homework is outlined and missing assignments are noted. Sign up for this service if it is available and review it nightly.

Transitioning to middle school is a big step for any child, and special needs children will need extra attention. Continue to monitor school work throughout the year so that small problems don’t grow. Communicate regularly with the teachers and focus on helping your child become comfortable and independent in his new environment.

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