Aspergers And Public School
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Are you the parent of an Asperger’s child and wondering if public school is right for them? While there are certainly benefits to attending traditional school, there are also some potential drawbacks that might make it difficult.
It is important to choose the right school for a child who has Asperger’s syndrome. Doing so is a matter of research and assessment because every child is unique and so you will want to find the systems and the staff that will work best for your child’s needs.
Researching Schools For Asperger’s Children
To begin with, you will want to make a list of all of the schools in your area – both public and private. From there you will want to find out what they have to offer. Take a look at things like the facilities that they have in place for special needs children, the class size, the style of teaching that is used, and what the school’s reputation is like.
Consider Your Child’s Sensory Needs
One of the most common symptoms of Asperger’s is an aversion to loud noises and crowds. In order to determine if the school would be able to work with your child’s needs, you should arrange to spend an hour or two there so that you can observe the following:
- Loud sirens and bells
- Noisy public address systems
- The availability of quiet spots on the playground
- General noise levels in both the classrooms and the corridors
How The School Program Is Structured
Struggling to stay organized and focused on tasks can be a major challenge for kids on the spectrum, and having a structured environment can help give them a sense of security and stability. Public schools provide access to teachers who have specialized knowledge in how to best teach and support children with Asperger’s, which can be extremely helpful in helping your child learn and grow.
Most children with Asperger’s Syndrome prefer to have both structure and routine. They do not do very well in an environment that encourages free play and free expression. This is something that you must take into consideration whenever you look at how the school program is structured.
Available Assistance For Asperger’s Children
There are various types of therapy that can be beneficial to children with Asperger’s Syndrome. Therefore you will want to learn whether or not the school offers the following types of therapy:
- Occupational therapy
- Small group sessions
- Individual therapy
- Aides in the classroom
Large public schools oftentimes have more resources because they must cater to a wide cross-section of needs. Most of them offer:
- Staff trained in special education
- Speech and language therapists
- A school nurse
Smaller schools are usually focused on a certain style of education or belief system. This may work well for some children who have Asperger’s syndrome. However, there are some things that you will need to look out for:
- A focus on an area that your child is gifted in
- Smaller classes that offer a greater amount of individual attention
- Less noise and confusion
- Some private schools wear uniforms that can appeal to a child who has Asperger’s
Homeschooling Asperger’s Children
Public school can be overwhelming for kids with Asperger’s. The large classrooms and chaotic atmosphere can be too much for young minds to handle. Additionally, it’s often hard for kids with Asperger’s to find peers they can connect with – leaving them feeling isolated and misunderstood.
There are some cases in which homeschooling is a viable option. This is good because the child is in familiar surroundings and the parent can set up routines that suit the child’s needs. For this reason, a lot of Asperger’s children start out by being homeschooled before moving on to a normal school, which is important because it will help them with their social development.
Evaluating The School’s Attitude About Asperger’s Syndrome
It is vital that you inform the school of an Asperger’s diagnosis or the suspicion thereof. In doing so you should be on the lookout for staff who understand what Asperger’s syndrome is and what the implications of it are. You should also be looking for educators who are willing and able to accommodate your child.
Communicate with the School
You should never try to avoid discussing issues whenever they arise. If your child is prone to rages and total shutdown, you need to tell them about this. Of course, the best way in which to do this is by arranging a time when you can speak to those who are involved with your child’s education. Take this time to explain what stresses your child out and how to handle your child if and when he should happen to get out of hand.
By carefully researching the different schools in your area and taking some time to prepare your child to attend one of them, you should be able to find a school environment that will suit your child’s needs. Keep in mind though that the process of working with the school and planning the best approach to your child’s education is something that is ongoing. It will take both persistence and perseverance in order to create an outcome that is good for everyone who is involved.