xMindsWire Newsletter
Subscribe to stay informed of xMinds events, opportunities for advocacy, relevant news articles, and regional programs, lectures, and workshops to help parents and educators improve the educational experiences of students on the autism spectrum.

 Image result for facebook icon    Twitter icon    yahoo icon 

"... the most important considerations in devising educational programs for children with autistic spectrum disorders have to do with recognition of the autism spectrum as a whole, with the concomitant implications for social, communicative, and behavioral development and learning, and with the understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual child across areas of development."
—Educating Children with Autism2001

Intervention Strategies by Susan Stokes

Restricted/Perseverative Range of Interests

Children with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to have eccentric preoccupations or odd, intense fixations, as noted by the following characteristics (13):

·        Relentless “lectures” on their specific areas of interest;

·        Repetitive questions about interests, concerns or worries;

·        Trouble “letting go” of thoughts or ideas, particularly relating to concerns or worries;

·        Refusal to learn about anything outside of their limited field of interest, as they do not appear to understand the significance.

Common high interest areas for many children with Asperger’s Syndrome may include: “Wheel of Fortune” game, transportation, astronomy, animals, dinosaurs, geography, weather and maps. It is important to note that these behaviors can often resemble obsessive/compulsive types of behaviors.
Example: Perfectionism regarding written work: erasing the same printed letter or drawing numerous times in succession due to the seemingly imperfect quality of the letter formation/drawing, resulting in increased frustration/anxiety; One child with Asperger’s Syndrome exhibits a high interest in Barbies. She cannot go to bed unless all of her Barbies are lined up in the exact same way).

Restricted/Perseverative Range of Interests Intervention Strategies
Set aside specific times of the day, and specific time periods, for the child to discuss his high interests. This “discussion time” can even be included on his visual schedule. If the child brings up a perseverative topic/question at another time, refer him to his visual schedule to indicate when he can converse about this topic.

Provide a written answer to repetitive questions asked by the child. When the child repeats the question, he can be referred to the written answer, which may assist in comprehension, and thus decrease the occurrence of the repetitive question asking.

Incorporate the child’s high interests into academics (e.g., if the child has a high interest in maps, use maps to teach math skills). With creativity and individualization, almost any high interest area can be infused into any academic area. Many students with Asperger’s Syndrome have sustained their high interests into higher educational studies and subsequent vocations (e.g., Temple Grandin - holds a Ph.D. in animal sciences and has designed over one third of our country’s animal livestock holding facilities

Reprinted from "Children with Asperger's Syndrome: Characteristics/Learning Styles and Intervention Strategies" by Susan Stokes, Autism Consultant for the Cooperative Educational Service Agency #7, Wisconsin State Department of Special Education.

    Improving the educational experiences and outcomes of students on the autism spectrum in grades K-12

    Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software