How to get your Aspergers child to LOVE doing homework (or anything else)

When I was in elementary school, math was one of my favorite subjects. I loved it! It had rules, and I could understand it. Then came middle school. Everything switched. Math suddenly had letters, and the rules weren’t as concrete. So I started to loathe it. So much so that I would get extremely anxious at doing it, and always wound myself really tight. It would take me an hour to calm down and get out of meltdown enough to try again.

This is a pretty common problem with people with Aspergers. A lot of parents have written, called, and asked us questions over the past few days. The #1 question we got asked was “How Do I get my child to do x?” Replace x with any issue.

One parent messaged us on Facebook, with a question on how to get her daughter to do her math homework without freaking out, getting extremely anxious, and then having a meltdown (sound familiar?) So we answered her question, then decided that everyone needed to hear the answer.

What we teach in this video is based on the concept of “Small Commitments”. See, people are more likely to do something when they have made a smaller commitment to it first. (It ties in with teaching your child Conscious Decision)

This works especially well in people with Aspergers, because you can show them that something that causes a lot of anxiety (like school), can actually be easy and fun. But in order to do this, you need to have them engage in small commitments first. (Write one sentence, do one math problem, read one paragraph, etc).

This concept can be applied to other things besides school as well, like trying new foods, going to new places, or meeting new people. We would love to hear your comments on how this has worked (or not) for your family. Go ahead and leave a comment below.

9 thoughts on “How to get your Aspergers child to LOVE doing homework (or anything else)

  1. I feel guilty because I am NOT pushing my son to do homework. He is in advanced classes and his grades are good. The only “bad” grades are homework related. He seems to be DONE by the end of the day and seems to accept the fact that his grades will be lower due to lack of h.w. practice. It just feels strange to allow him not to complete assigned tasks….but pushing makes him totally shut down. I am choosing to “let it go” for now. Hope I am not making a mistake. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. I agree with you, Beth! How old is your son and how is he doing with the teachers? My son is in 6th grade having a hard time because the teachers keep trying to “make” him do things. They have it all backwards!

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  2. Hi I am 13 and I have aspergers and I need some tips or help on getting into school and getting motivated to do my school work. I am also having trouble with getting to school. I just dont like to be around a lot of kids and I am having trouble getting to school. Thx

  3. Very captivating video, but schoolwork has deadlines, especially in class, when I can’t be there to prod him along, and redirect him away from his anxiety for him to keep up.
    His teacher thinks he is just being difficult & refusing to do what he is capable of. Convincing him that he IS, however, is a time consuming process. How do I advise the teacher to help him complete his work, when she has a whole class to motivate?

  4. thank u will try that you explained my son to a t the crying and screaming that it is to hard before he has even look at it,hopefully it will work.

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  5. A week or so ago I received a short (but great!) video about the steps to get them to do homework correctly, the first time, without arguing. It was homework -vs- video games and how the caregiver and child would create an agreement that would be signed by both the child and the parent. In the particular personal narration it only took 3 or 4 days to work… How can I see this again?! I am hopeful that it will work for my 10 year old grandson.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  6. Hi Danny,

    I loved your video answer about homework , and I can see how it can work. In regards to getting my son to do chores; Alex hates when I tell him how to do something, or correct what he is doing. He says I am trying to make him be like me, and that I always want to be right. After watching your videos and listening to the CDs, I see where I have done this to an extent; but chores, or cooking, DO have to be done a certain way, .there are ways you have to do it, or you can hurt yourself, or burn the house down. So, when I get him to do his chores, using the techniques you described above, how can I correct him, or guide him, without making him so defensive…as he always is.
    Thanks for your time and I appreciate all you guys are doing.


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