As educators and parents, we can’t help being impressed over a 5-year old child speaking in words suitable for a grad-school thesis project. Perhaps we associate this feat with over-ambitious parenting ability, or a suspected higher-than-average IQ. As the little professor enters the classroom, our amazement turns to puzzlement. Is there a reason beyond stubbornness that little Billy can’t write?
About The Ability of Asperger Syndrome Children to Hyper-Focus:
Asperger Syndrome is a form of Autism that produces children who can blend into their surroundings in a classroom setting. Until recently, many of these children fell through the cracks while displaying signs of higher IQ’s that were coupled with non-functioning classroom abilities. An Asperger Syndrome or AS child can have an extreme interest in vocabulary at a young age, be an advanced reader, and show extra skill in sketching; with a teacher completely convinced that they are refusing to write out of stubbornness.
With some AS children, there are issues with a form of hyper-focusing trait that is coupled with an inability to relate to communications directed at broadening their perspectives. If the hyper-focusing is directed at building a vocabulary, all other areas of the educational experience are simply unimportant to the child who is only focusing their attention on one thing. The Asperger Syndrome hyper-focusing trait can be helpful in a classroom setting when educators choose to use this extreme attention span as a tool.
Hyper-focusing can be an extreme interest in learning about only one object, or a part of on object exclusively. Asperger Syndrome children with a hyper-focusing trait can learn to read about, to write about, and to multiply their chosen objects. If normal classroom learning procedures are not getting through to an AS child, try working with the theme that they are already working with. As an example, a few words about their chosen object mentioned during a history lesson, can perhaps make the entire history lesson memorable.
Over the centuries, we have had instances of hyper-focusing that have been called genius in hindsight; children who master extreme mathematics, musicians, artists, and inventors. The Asperger Syndrome ability to hyper-focus is looked upon as a flaw by many of our educational systems that are not structured for children who vary from the traditional styles of learning. However, the Asperger Syndrome hyper-focus ability is a learning style. AS children have the ability to hyper-focus their way into learning traditional subjects.
Do you have tendencies to Hyperfocus?