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My article on Aspergers and middle school includes some useful Aspergers information for middle school teachers that might prove helpful for them. Asperger is a developmental disorder that has been named after the famous Viennese pediatrician known as Hans Asperger, it was he who first described a group of children with this disorder in the 1940s and he did with clinical precision. The growing disorder has been now given increased attention, especially from 1994 when it was recognized officially in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Disorders. This article on Aspergers and middle school will hopefully help the teachers and parents whose children are suffering from the Asperger Syndrome and yet studying in mainstream educational facilities.
Aspergers information for middle school teachers is essential as the child suffering with the disorder will face social as well as behavioral problems as he grows up and enters middle school, especially because he will need to adjust with the more mature environments. The unfortunate part is that these children are often not properly classified as having Asperger at all because of several reasons, for example, if the child is good in studies or is not very prominently different compared to the others, he may not be noticed at all, until and unless the Asperger child suddenly bursts in an extremely inappropriate manner due to the pressure that has built up in him over time. They are thus misunderstood by their peers, teachers and even parents and their peculiar habits are blamed on emotional and motivational issues.
The social environment of middle school is tough for a child with AS, it is a place where rules are strict and being different means either mistreat or isolation from the peers. What will happen due to the teasing and isolation is that the Asperger child will withdraw further into shell due to the contrast between his wish of making friends and the reality of his inability to do so. Non-cooperation, angry and violent behavioral outbursts and depression are the most frequent symptoms seen in Asperger children during middle school. The child might be hardly recognizable as someone having Aspergers, especially if he has no learning disorders because then his academics would most likely be great. However, tendency to misinterpret data and communicating with idiomatic language might be torturing the child.
The most important way to help a child with AS is by understanding him or her and the developmental disorder, and that’s most important for the parents and secondly for the school staff. These children can not be treated as other general children meaning the child will require special treatment from the school staff as they react differently to the different stimuli. Humorous and kind affectionate behavior from teachers would definitely influence the child with positive effects like better mood and social skills, because the emotional attitude of the teacher will effect the AS child unconsciously and involuntarily.
Resource Rooms or tutorials for these children are often helpful in case they have learning disabilities although such cases are not always observed. Social skills training by the school counselor can be quite an effective move to help the children with Asperger and if an issue with pragmatic language is observed, then the school therapist would most probably be able to help in a great way. An important thing to remember is that one should avoid surprise tests and quizzes while teaching the Asperger children; they mostly are uncomfortable on being surprised. AS children tend to follow rules with absolute perfection therefore they should be subjected to more flexible and special rules. Schedules, pictures, lists and other visuals are great ways to connect with these children, rewarding also works great as far as learning is concerned. Teachers can also associate the child’s special interest with his teachings therefore making it easier for him or her to learn.
The above are a few bits of important information which can be really useful to the teachers of the middle school while teaching Asperger children, parents, however, has the most important duty as the child’s personality will mostly shape on how he is being treated at home by his or her parents. Also it is the duty of the parents to understand their child’s problem and take the appropriate steps to ensure that he or she has a good and safe life ahead.