Tag Archives: school

Aspies: Back to School Stress: What helps?

School is a stressor for most of us.  While we love the learning, many of us suffer through the social aspects of every class from kindergarten to university.  A recent survey shows that 25 per cent of new high school students will rate their anxiety level at seven out of ten*.  Here are some ways to deal with that discomfort whether you’re starting high school, middle school, university or college.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the geography of your school, especially if it’s new to you. Where are the washrooms?  The lockers?  The labs?  What is the shortest route to take between classes? With your class schedule in hand, do a practice run from room to room to see where you’ll need more time to make the change.  Many schools have portables; do you know which portable your class is in?  How long will it take you to get from the main building to that class? Even if you attended the same school last year and the year before, chances are you’ll have some classes in new locations.  Knowing where you’re going and how to get there will give you a sense of confidence even before the class begins.

  2.  Check your supplies and organize them for easy access.  If you’re still using handwritten notes in a note book, keep the subjects separate, and the notebooks with the applicable texts.  Being organized means less time spent hunting down materials which means ultimately, less time spent on homework.  Who’s going to argue that?  One website, https://www.verywell.com/top-school-stress-relievers-for-students-3145179 has more suggestions for organizing and utilizing your study space.

  3. Always write assignments in one place.  This could be the notes app on your cell phone or lap top or at the end of your class notes.  Just be sure they are easily accessed and you won’t have to rack your brain about what assignments are due tomorrow.  For tips on how to organize your homework/study area and how to approach homework and studying, getting those assignments done and done well see this article at PsychCentral.com: https://psychcentral.com/lib/top-10-most-effective-study-habits/

  4. Study regularly; don’t just cram before a test.  Cramming seldom works.  Regularly familiarizing yourself with the information is the most helpful way of learning.  Talk about what you’re studying with someone else who is truly interested.  If you can help someone else learn, you’ll remember it far better at exam time.  For some excellent study tips try this website:  http://www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au/studying-training/studying-tips-resources/top-10-study-tips

  5. Learn to destress yourself.  At Wellcast’s website, you can learn 100 wellness techniques in 100 days.  This URL will take you to the one on meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWIFMfEgc8A

So head back to school with confidence and determination, visualizing a successful year.

Using these tips will help you do just that.

Yours truly,

Margaret Jean.

*McGill University Research conducted by Dr. Nancy Heath.


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Anna Matchneva: Friend To Aspie’s And Their Parents.

Thanks to Stella Hui and the BC Autism Society, some of us had a chance to hear Anna Matchneva speak last Friday about the PEER program in BC Schools.  While most of the parents were there trying to learn how to help their children with what some of the other students  consider ‘weird’ behaviour, I was there as a person with Asperger’s as well as a concerned parent and grandparent of children with Asperger’s.  It’s always an interesting perspective, and I’m often amused at the assumptions the workers make about us Aspies.

But with Anna Matchneva, it was different.  She had a good read on us, a lot of insights into how things work for us, and how they don’t work, and what we can do about it.

With Anna, teaching the child to independantly correct the situation through adjusted thinking and responses is the key to achieving success in peer relationships.

Some of the things she suggests for Children with Asperger’s to help them manoeuvre in social situations:

  • Recognize other people’s interests.  Let them talk, and be supportive.
  • Learn to recognize and support other people’s feelings.  Accept that they aren’t always the same as ours.
  • Learn positive thinking.  Positive thoughts lead to better feelings which lead to more comfortable behaviour.  In the situation where you became angry and frustrated, what could you do differently next time?
  • When conflict happens, do not dismiss or blame the other person.  Try instead to put yourself in their shoes.
  • When you have a guest, let them do what they want.  Do not try to choose activities for them, or force your interests on them.

And for parents of Aspies, try to help them develop age appropriate interests:  in music, in games, and other past times that children talk about at school.

Anna Matchneva is an amazing person.  She works with iStep Ahead Serices Inc .  You can read more about this program at: http://www.istepahead.com/

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