Functioning in groups is one of the more difficult experiences for children with Asperger’s Disorder. When a teacher instructs students to pick their own teams, the Asperger’s Disorder child is sure to be the last picked. When teachers direct students to pair up to work on a project or form a group, the Asperger’s Disorder child is never chosen and the one child who was not fast enough to find a partner ends up “stuck” with the Asperger’s Disorder child.
Teachers with an Asperger’s Disorder child in the classroom can be sensitive and reduce the number of times the Asperger’s Disorder child is rejected, isolated, teased, or excluded by modifying how they create group activities. Instead of letting team captains pick the teams, the teacher can divide the class into teams by various categories (e.g., birthdays between January and June on team A and July through December on team B, names staring with A–L on team A and M–Z on team B, etc.). Instead of leaving children to form their own pairs, teachers can be creative in the way they form groups (e.g., putting raffle tickets in a jar and having each student pick one and find the other student with the same number). Your child’s teacher may appreciate your creative ideas on how to help your child avoid being excluded by his peers.