Rules, Rewards & Encouragement for a Child With Asperger's - MetroFamily Magazine
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Rules, Rewards & Encouragement for a Child With Asperger's

by Ryan Kiggins, AKA OddDad

Rules. An Aspie’s blessing and curse.

Blessing in the sense that rules help the person with Asperger’s to function by following a set of prescribed actions while avoiding a set of proscribed actions. Actions that an Aspie lacks intuitive capacity to discern governing rules.

A curse in the sense that all human rules fail to be universally applicable, giving rise to ambiguity, nuance and confusion for the Aspie. The literal thinking process, unique to Asperger’s Syndrome, struggles with ambiguity. Often I have experienced confusion and, sometimes, bewilderment, at what others take to be obvious.

Rules may often be associated with obligation. Obligation may be understood as a state or condition in which an individual is morally, legally or duty bound to a certain act or course of actions. For an individual with Asperger’s, obligation is less about morality, legality, or duty and more about comprehension, comfort, and security in the human condition. Ambiguity is the enemy of people with Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum Disorder.

To assist our special Aspie, and help his parents retain what little semblance of sanity remains, we have established a number of routines in the house, with clearly specified rules and incentives. One example is the morning routine. There are certain tasks that our special Aspie must complete to earn iPad time (15 minutes, per-day limit) and/or watching a favorite show on Netflix. Right now it's Voltron. (Pleased to admit I introduced him to Voltron, a fave of mine as a child and is still).

Read the rest of the post from an Oklahoma City dad on the spectrum on the Odd Dad Blog.

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