Teachers should be educated in how to handle Asperger students
maybe if you just TALK to him about it....
Okay, let's make this perfectly clear. If I could just TALK my asperger son out of his obsessive behavior, I would be touring the world, making millions of dollars talking other kids out of their syndrome. What don't educated people realize about this? He is NOT like the other students in their class. It is back to why he is so misunderstood. He may look like the other children, in fact, he is quite handsome. He gets very good grades and can compete academically. He is behind socially, but so are many neurotypical children. I was VERY shy for most of my academic life.
So when I get these endless telephone calls or have conferences from a person who has many years of education and usually a great deal of experience working with children asking me to have a talk with my son and expecting that to work, I throw my hands up in exasperation.
We have tried behavior charts. reward systems, chore sticks, coupons and punishments (taking away video games, television, his favorite books, whatever we think might cause him to want to do his work). These plans work for a short time and then we are back to the drawing board as he figures out a way to get around them or he just doesn't care.
Our son doesn't really care if he gets 100 on a test. He does care if he answers something incorrectly, but the number grade doesn't seem to affect him. It is what happens in the now that concerns him, not on the regents exam in two years or on his report card in a month. If teacher assigns homework that is due on Friday, but assigns it on Monday, even though he is at the age where he should understand that he needs to work on it daily and not wait until Thursay, all he sees is the word Friday and thinks he does not have to work until the day before. Talking to him about it, doesn't work, believe me I have tried. I suggested to the teachers that they make his schedule somewhat different. The counselor finally decided to put him on his own special calendar where his assignments have different due dates than the other students (earlier) and are written on this calendar. This way it is concrete.
I am totally aware that I cannot do it all. I am running myself ragged going to soccer, religion, therapies, basketball, scouts, and being a wife and mother taking care of a home, which suffers trust me, but it is better the home suffers than the children, it will get done eventually after the family is cared for. I need these professionals to understand that I can do the best I am able at home, but once he gets to school, it is in their hands. I cannot go into the building and hand in his assignments for him. He has done them, they are in his schoolbag or on his flashdrive so it is up to them to get him to give it to them. If he doesn't, then he take the zero like any other student would. He has to learn by experience.
What troubles me is that autism, autism related disorders like aspergers, pdd and ADHD fill our school buildings these days. Why do our professionals have to educate themselves? Why are they being provided assistance and offered strategies to help them manage a classroom when they are presented with students who have these issues? Where is our government? Don't they recognize the statistics? 1 out of 91 children is the current number. That is how many will be affected with autistic spectrum disorders. Not all of these children will be placed in special classroom. Many, such asperger children will be mainstreamed, even honors students, like my child. Why not help out teacher understand? Why not provide them with the tools they need to run their classroom more proficiently?
I must admit, we have been repeatedly blessed with eduators who study and learn on their own time how to handle our son. They have been fantastic with him and I credit them with much of his progress. In our 11 years of dealing with his diagnosis, we have encountered less than 5 teachers who refused to learn and grow. Those are amazing numbers. However, we have had to guide and educate many of them ourselves or encourage them to read books to help themselves. They should not have to do this on their own time. The education should be provided. It is in the best interest of ALL of the students. The children on the spectrum as well as the neurotypical children.