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Autism

Finding Classes and Help for Aspberger's

11/15/2005

Question:

This goes along with the question on reference sources for Asperger`s. We are in an "odd" position in the special ed community at our school. Our son with Asperger`s is very bright but does need special ed services too. Unfortunately, we aren`t experts and we are having trouble finding people to design an IEP for his needs, since he doesn`t quite fit the usual mold. We have seen developmental specialists elsewhere and have run into the same problem -- can`t quite find anyone to tell us what a good plan for him is since he is so bright. Do you have reference suggestions for students who are bright but need special ed too?

Answer:

Unfortunately, this is a problem that many families with children with Asperger Syndrome face, especially when the child is gifted in areas. Many children with Asperger Syndrome have such variability in their skill levels that planning an appropriate education can be a challenge for most school systems.

One of the simplest steps to take is to ensure that everyone on the team is in agreement about your son's skill profile. While this seems obvious, often the breakdown can come as early as this in the process. Secondly assigning the resources that will allow your child to learn in the least restrictive placement is key. Most often a child with Asperger Syndrome has a day that is made up of a range of placements - the typical educational classroom, the typical educational classroom with support, pull-out for small group instruction, and pull-out to one-to-one instruction. The combination of these placements and what skills are taught in each is dependent upon the individual child. But usually, one simple answer or placement is not complex enough to handle the diverse needs of a child with Asperger Syndrome.

Here are further resources that may be of assistance.

A general, but very good resource:

Attwood, Tony. (1998). Asperger's Syndrome: A guide for parents and professionals. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, PA. (www.jkp.com)

More specifically, you may find assistance in developing an appropriate educational environment (and IEP) with some of the following resources:

Kay, Kiesa (ed.) (2000). Uniquely Gifted: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of the Twice-Exceptional Student. Avocus Publishing, NH.

Wagner, Sheila (2002). Inclusive Programming for Middle School Students with Autism/Asperger's Syndrome. Future Horizons, Arlington, TX. (www.FutureHorizons-autism.com)

Wagner, Sheila (1999). Inclusive Programming for Elementary Students with Autism, Future Horizons, Arlington, TX. (www.FutureHorizons-autism.com)

Smith Myles, Brenda and Adreon, Diana (2001). Practical Solutions for school success. Autism Asperger Publishing Co, Kansas. (www.asperger.net)

Bolick, Teresa (2001). Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence: Helping preteens and teens get ready for the real world. Fair Winds Press, MA.

 

Social/Emotional skills:

Moyes, Rebecca (2001). Incorporating Social Goals in the Classroom: A guide for teachers and parents of children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, PA. (www.jkp.com)

Goldstein, Arnold (1979). Skill-streaming the adolescent: A structured learning approach to teaching prosocial skills. Research PR Pub.

Smith Myles, Brenda and Southwick, Jack. (1999). Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments: practical solutions for tantrums, rage and meltdowns. Autism Asperger Publishing Co, Kansas. (www.asperger.net)

Baker, Jed (2003). Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome and Social-Communication Problems. Autism Asperger Publishing Co., KS.

Some websites:

This website is an on-line resource for Asperger's Syndrome information: www.maapservices.org

A video of the day in the life of a student with Asperger syndrome: www.whatsitlike.cjb.net/

For more information:

Go to the Autism health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jacqueline Wynn, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University