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asperger's syndrome information and features

         

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Introduction

Mainstream School

Special Needs Class / School

Autism Specialist School

Home Schooling

School Questionnaire Results

School Survey

Schools

Introduction

Asperger's Syndrome can be full of seeming contradictions... it can be possible to be intelligent but to have difficulty learning... it can be possible to be academic but to struggle in the education system. Children with Asperger's may struggle to fit in socially at school, they may misunderstand and be misunderstood by their teachers, and the differences in the way they think, learn and communicate may hinder them fulfilling their potential.

The National Autistic Society in the UK has launched a campaign  to improve educational provision for autistic children. They aim to increase teacher's training in autism, increase provision and ease of access to entitlements, and extend existing best practice to all schools.

Listed below are some of the positive and negative aspects of different educational options for children with Asperger's. There is no one right way, as different options will suit different people, but when surveyed the majority of people who visit this site favour inclusion in mainstream school, and in many ways I would agree, but only where there is appropriate support and understanding and their educational needs can be fully met. I believe in equal opportunities for autistic people, but that does not mean treating everybody the same... it means treating everybody in a way that gives them an equal chance.

Mainstream School

  • Not always possible to receive extra attention.

  • Behaviour could be disruptive.

  • Bullying could be a problem.

  • Misunderstandings by teachers and pupils.

  • Learning style / needs not accommodated.

  • Some opportunity to fulfil potential.

  • Valuable experience of the social world.

Special Needs Class / School
  • Sometimes aimed at lower functioning pupils.

  • Learning style / needs not accommodated.

  • Stigma / Stereotype of lack of intellectual ability.

  • Could be held back from fulfilling potential.

  • Bullying could be a problem.

  • Allowances usually made for difficult or disruptive behaviour.

  • Would get some extra attention.

Autism Specialist School
  • Knowledge and understanding of autistic spectrum disorders.

  • Individual needs more likely to be met.

  • Usually able to accommodate varying levels of ability.

  • Able to fit in and identify with other pupils.

  • Possible stigma.

  • Cost? Location? Availability of places?

  • Sheltered from realities of social world.

Home Schooling
  • Time Consuming? Expensive?

  • Not all parents have the right skills or personality to teach.

  • May be difficult to fit around needs of non autistic siblings.

  • Sheltered from outside world.

  • Behaviour understood and less of an issue.

  • Individual needs met.

  • Lots of extra attention.

School Questionnaire Results

During the second half of 2003 I held a questionnaire on this site about experiences of school for people with Asperger syndrome.

Participants were given six statements about different areas of school experience. They were asked to specify to what degree they agreed or disagreed with the statements. 275 people completed the questionnaire. Click through the graphs below to see the breakdown of responses by gender, decade, and location.

  1. I think if my education was better suited to me my life would be very different.

  2. I nearly always had a supportive group of friends throughout school.

  3. I experienced traumatic things at school that I suspect may have been psychologically damaging.

  4. My teachers were fair and usually made an effort to understand me.

  5. I was frequently the victim of teasing and bullying at school.

  6. I have no regrets about my education and feel it met my academic needs.

School Survey

If you are on the autistic spectrum and currently at school, college or university (up to the age of 25) you are invited to complete the school survey below.

Click here to Complete the School Survey

Here are the results so far:

Schools

The Interact Centre

Ashgrove School

Linn Moor School
Russet House School
North Hill House
Stone Mountain School
Honormead Schools
The Monarch School
Church Hill School
The Hesley Group
Step by Step School
Aspergers Syndrome Special Schools UK

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