"What is the best educational setting for an Aspergers child?"
The historical tendency has been for students with learning difficulties like Autism to be segregated from the general classroom and taught in settings like special education or even home schooling. But, because children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism have average to above average intelligence, many parents and teachers believe that, with certain adjustments, these children should be included as part of the regular educational process, especially when they reach middle school and beyond.
Such inclusive practices take the commitment of the school system, the teachers, the student and the family to make such a situation work effectively. Teachers need to be taught the value of structured learning with a minimum of abrupt changes, and they may need to understand the best ways the Aspergers student learns. For example, if the child is a visual learner, he or she needs as much opportunity to learn that way as is possible.
The school may need to offer some special tutoring or mentoring to help the Aspergers student keep up with what’s going on in the classes. Classmates may need a short lesson on Aspergers so as to avoid some of the confusion and teasing that can go on when kids don’t understand the nuances of dealing with a peer with such a disorder.
Sometimes the teacher needs to make adjustments, like setting stricter routines in their teaching practices, teaching in different ways, and even making changes in things like the color of ink they use on the overhead projector.
There is much evidence to suggest that children with Aspergers do better in an inclusive program with the right blend of socializing and educational techniques that maximize the learning potential of the child. If your child is a candidate for inclusive practice in education, speak to his/her principal to begin the process of making it happen.