wiseGEEK: What Are the Different Types of Therapeutic Asperger's Activities?m.wisegeek.com
There are many different types of therapeutic Asperger's activities, and what activities will be therapeutic for each person differs. People with Asperger's syndrome tend to have special strengths on which they find it particularly easy to focus. They may also have obsessions, which makes it difficult to convince them to engage in activities that do not fit their strengths. Some activities may be considered therapeutic because they help people with Asperger's build on their strengths, and others may be considered therapeutic because they help those people improve on their weaknesses. Either way, the goal of therapeutic Asperger's activities should always be to improve both the person's quality of life and his or her ability to function in society as a whole.
Asperger's activities often take the form of games, particularly when participants are children. Many common games that involve recognizing faces or taking turns can be beneficial for children with Asperger's. Often, using a topic that the child enjoys talking about to demonstrate appropriate conversational techniques can be helpful in building communication skills. Conversation games can also be used to help the child understand more complex aspects of discourse, such as sarcasm, or how to recognize when a conversation is over.
Many children with Asperger's have diminished spatial skills, so puzzles and building block games often make good therapeutic Asperger's activities. To help maintain interest in these activities, it can be helpful to combine them with topics in which the child is interested. In order to keep the activity running smoothly, it may be necessary to set up a rewards system.
One of the most often overlooked types of Asperger's activities is physical exercise. People with Asperger's syndrome, both young and old, often benefit from physical activities because they help them blow off steam. Special repetitive exercises, such as swinging or jumping on a trampoline, are often highly enjoyable. To minimize complications, it is best to stick to games that do not require verbal communication or imagination.
A therapist should be able to suggest activities specifically tailored to the needs of the individual with Asperger's syndrome. It may also be helpful to simply indulge a person with Asperger's and his or her friendships and see what social games evolve naturally. Activities that involve interaction with more than one person can be extremely useful for people with Asperger's syndrome who are in need of improved social skills. These social activities that involve cooperation can be stepping stones toward better integration with the general population.
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