It’s the weekend, baby!
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Charles Dickens’ famous phrase captures perfectly the possibilities of those first weekends on campus for students with Asperger’s. The absence of the structure of classes means it’s up to the students to figure out how best to use their free time. Some, by now, will have made friends or gotten involved in on-campus or off-campus activities that will help fill the hours. Others, however, may choose to retreat to their rooms, feeling isolated, lonely and maybe a bit nervous about how to manage the social scene. Sometimes structuring the weekend hours that are not devoted to studying can help. Schedule time for those retreaters to go to the campus recreation center for a workout, to the dining halls for meals, to the student center or concert hall or campus theater for entertainment. Find a church or worship center within walking distance for them to attend. Talk with the Asperger’s support staff on campus about setting up a buddy system with a peer or a graduate assistant who will do social activities with your son or daughter. Encourage your student to attend a sporting event. Most importantly, don’t forget that some alone time is necessary, too. It’s important for your student to feel comfortable in his or her own skin.
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