March 30, 2012

A great book School Success for kids with Asperger's syndrome

Just reading (I have a stack of books I'm working through) School Success for kids with Asperger's Syndrome by Stephan M. Silverman, and Rich Weinfeld.  So far it's great.  Very detailed into how to determine if your child has Asperger's.  You essentially must get a professional to diagnose the child.  Simply saying "he's very intelligent but can't relate well to other kids" isn't enough, in other words.  They have a list of myths in the diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome.

These are, as yet, unproven

- all persons with AS can be identified by their stronger verbal than performance IQs.
- all persons with AS have above-average intelligence
- people with AS all want to communicate with others but don't know how
- people with AS don't want to communicate with others
- all "nerdy" people have a touch of AS
- AS and "high functioning" autism are one and the same
- autism is a perfect spectrum or continuity of symptom intensity and frequency
- a high number of autistic symptoms rules out functional capacity in persons with AS or other forms of autism
- persons with AS have higher adaptive abilities than persons with high-functioning autism

They go into why it is so important to get an early diagnosis.  AS is a unique way of seeing, interpreting, coping with and acting in the world.  Because it is hard-wired into the person, the diagnosis helps to direct parents and teachers to lifelong interventions appropriate to the condition.  Failure to identify these special needs may doom the child to being misunderstood, and classified wrongly as being openly defiant and misbehaving in class.  When it's not his/her fault at all.

Then they go on to say strategies:  work with the school and teacher to strengthen the child's assets.  If they can read off the charts and can't write, give them oral presentations to do, in other words.  Work towards the child's strengths always.  This gives the child an immense feeling of satisfaction and rewards good behaviours.  If they must do written work, frequent check-ins and modifying the work load is necessary.  A personal teachers-aid is highly suggested, as well.

I'll write more about it tomorrow, as I'm not done the book, as of yet.  But really worth reading, if your child has Asperger's syndrome.

The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children. Elaine Heffner

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