My daughter has done beautifully in public school. In fact, we switched her from a small private school once she got her diagnosis.
Find out if your school has a good speech and/or occupational therapist--your daughter may qualify for free services. If your daughter has had a psycheducational evaulation, make sure that any learning differences are accomodated in her I.E.P. You may wish to have an evaluation done for her if it hasn't already been done.
My daughter's classmates look our for her, and try to take care of her.
I have a grandson with Asperger's and I am a special education teacher. Make sure he has an IEP. This a written plan on how the school will facilitate learning as well as say what accommodations your child will need. Stay involved by regularly communicating with his regular and special education teachers. A home school communication (daily)would be an example of an accommodation. DO NOT LET THE SCHOOL PUT HIM IN A SPECIAL CLASS. This is detrimental to an Asperger's child. Special teaching methods in a one on one setting for part of the day may be needed. My grandson entered first grade reading on a fourth grade level. Many AS children have high IQs but you can only see it in school work when his needs are being met.
I don't have a child with Asperger's but I have taught many children with Asperger's and all have done well in school. My suggestion to you is to be involved with your child's education. If at all possible, volunteer at her school. I am assuming you will attend an IEP conference prior to the start of her services. Mention your concerns at the meeting. Hopefully the teacher(s) are willing to work with you, as most are. Good Luck
She will be fine.
Children that age are very tolerant of each other...middle school is when you need to start worrying.
Be sure the teacher knows as much about your child as possible (likes, dislikes, wants, needs, etc.) Try to volunteer in the classroom if you can.
Set up playdates this summer so that your daughter will already know some people from her school/class.
As a teacher...I would agree with another poster, public school is the way to go (the funding and training are much better)...and keep your child in a regular classroom. I have taught in self-contained settings before and there are no good role models for children on the autism spectrum to learn from. Also, by including your child with typical peers, the other students will learn that she is part of the group too.
Public mainstream schools is never a good idea for children with aspergers.
Religous or private schools are better for children with aspergers.
THIS IS A FACT!
This answer may be a little rushed because unfortunately i had typed in my answer to you but lost the internet line when i tried to send it and lost everything.. .. basically, i suggested that you see your daughters teacher and see how much she understands about aspergers. I have worked as a speech Pathologist in schools working with disabilities and found most teachers in regular classrooms have very little experience with kids with disabilities of any kind. If you can help your daughters teacher understand aspergers, what to expect and how to respond to unexpected behaviours, it will lessen the stress on your daughter, the other kids in the class and the teacher. Her teacher can also become a good model for the kids on how to interact and respond to your daughter. Maybe one of the agencies can help with this. they may be able to have an information session, or inservice at the school.
There is a fantastic woman I met a few years ago her name is Tracy Bester. She has aspergers. she has also raised 4 children, 3 of which i know had autism. She runs seminars for parents and gives a fantastic insight into the disorder from the inside. It really opened my eys. I just had a look on google to see if she had a website... WOW... she's everywhere.. she appears to be travelling now doing her seminars around australia. I know she has made resources for helping peolpe with aspergers/autism that are in many countries now. She initially made them for her kids and then expanded. I have included some websites I found tonight about her and for other support services. I hope this helps. Lee
I have a son with autism (he is in a private school) and have worked with many families of children on the spectrum. I know many children with autism and asperger's who are successfully mainstreamed into pulic schools. The most important things in making the placement truely successful are your communication with the teacher (it should be daily, either through a notebook sent back and forth each day or by email), the teacher's level of experience and training in working with children on the spectrum (a very different set of needs than many other special ed students), the willingness of the school to try new methods and technoligies and the IEP. You must have a full IEP and include issues such as dedicated aides (if one is needed), amounts of time working with specialists such as speech, OT and PT, a well thought out behavior management program and accomodations for issues such as sensitivy to sound, the need for frequent movement, adaptive tech if needed, etc. Since your child is just starting school, it may take time to iron all of this out. Going off to Kindergarden is nerve wracking for every parent. It is even more scarey when the child has special needs. Take an active role in your daughter's education..volunteer at school if you can, join the PTA, don't be afraid to ask questions or make suggestions. And, if for some reason, you feel that the placement isn't working, don't be afraid to ask for a change or feel that you have failed. Educating all kids is a process of trial and error.
Don't worry. My good friend was in your position but she managed very well.
I gave her a book which she found very useful on Asperger Child Syndrome. Perhaps you can check it out.
Public school classes have worked very well for my daughter. I agree with a few other posts that your child should be included with typical kids. They become good role models and big helpers.
My son has Asperger's and attends public school. K-2 were rocky but we left that state and 3rd grade was a resounding success. The major problems with the early school system were related to the lack of knowledge of Asperger's. It improved little-by-little, because I force-fed information to them. I resented having to do that a lot.
You've received strong advice not to put your child into special classes. I would say be careful with this advice. I agree that your initial goal should be to try to keep your child mainstreamed - if that is what is right for your child. If your child needs a one-on-one aide to remain in the regular class, the school should provide that. My son cannot tolerate a full day in a regular classroom because it is simply too overwhelming from a sensory standpoint. He goes out for science, social studies, specials and the gifted program. His goals focus on social communication, self modulation, and writing (dysgraphia). He gets accommodations for writing, a sensory diet with OT, specific social skills training, and transportation (he does not go to his home campus).
In case you haven't found it yet, a good source of information regarding Asperger's is Tony Attwood. He is an Australian psychologist that specializes in Asperger's. He is the leading authority in my book. His website is http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/ . There is a video and DVD section that has some excellent resources if the school personnel (and/or you) need some training.
If you haven't yet, I would ask some very pointed questions in your child's IEP meeting (call one if necessary). First, I would ask point blank who knows what about Asperger's. Many educators seem to think that if a child is smart they should just be able to "learn" how to get along in school without help. The child with Asperger's is typically the child that proves that this theory is pure hooey. The new wording in the IDEA should set this to rest, but my guess is parents will still have to wave the language under the nose of some. The focus is now clearly both on academic and functional performance - and both of these combine to make up educational performance. My son is very advanced academically but needs major help functionally. If the school personnel really don't understand Asperger's, have handouts of some of the videos from Tony Attwood's stie or other material you find and ask them which of those things they will be ordering to bring their knowledge up to speed. I told the early school that I wanted to be present when they showed the Tony Attwood videos so I could learn along side them. This served a few purposes. I knew what they were learning, I knew who was participating in the training, and they knew that I was fully committed to helping my son educationally.
Next, I would ask how they intend to instruct your child in social skills since this is the number one and primary deficit of all children with any autism spectrum disorder. If they try to sweep this one under the rug, you really need to stop them quickly. To prepare for this, you might want to get hold of your states standards for each grade by subject - they are usually online at the state department of education's website. Look for all of the standards that involve communicating information to other people, particpating/cooperating in any sort of group activity, appreciating the work of others, etc. All of these standards require social skills. My guess is the report card for the early grades also have a lot of social skills on it. If they grade it, they need to teach it.
Hope this helps a little. Good luck.
You wont have to worry too much about being teased or picked on in her younger years as the younger children don't seem to notice many excentricities in others. My step son has changed schools many times (NOT OUR CHOICE!!) and now being in grade 6 he is struggling to fit in as he is making it difficult for all others to accept him(the kids have been told about aspergers and have all made an effort for him to adapt).
Get all the information you can and make sure the school knows how to help your daughter - what they can do to redirect her attention etc. and most of all STICK TO ONE SCHOOL if at all possible. As she gets older the other kids may notice she is a little different but by explaining why she is different they very easily adapt and accept who she is and why. Also if she does things like "flapping" or other different behaviours suggest as she gets older that it is best being done only at home.
It is tricky, but dont stress, plenty of people have gone through this and plenty of people will offer support and help - stay true to what you want for your daughter and what makes her happy
Good Luck, Nikki
As many have posted communication is key when having a child with special needs. As for your child being picked on that is a fear even parents who have typically developing children worry about. It is important for you child (any child) to know how to respond to other children who are teasing or being mean. With a child who has AS this may mean some role playing at home and discussion on appropriate behaviors. It should be kept in concrete terms to ensure your child understands, example: if someone hits you, you to let your teacher know right away. Things along those terms.
You could talk to your daughter's teacher and see if a lesson or two could be given concerning teasing and bullying in class. Also a lesson or two on diversity may also prove to be helpful, as well.
Hope this helps,
I have a 22 year old daughter with AS and suffered thru years of not knowing why she was different. (she was diagnosed at 15). She was never bullied, in fact she was very popular with others (although she did not realize this). Since she was apt to cry instead of lash out during a meltdown, she got a lot of sympathy from other kids. I suggest you stay very involved with the school, I was on the PTO board til her 7th grade. That way you get to know the kids and teachers. I kept a very close watch out for any trouble and if there was any, I spoke up early before it got to far. The school and kids knew I would do whatever was necessary to step in when needed.
I would like to point out that even though the school knows about AS, you will still find times when you will be blamed or castigated for being "too" involved and over protective. I have run into this even with professionals who should know better. For instance I was just told by a college advisor that "I must make my daughter speak up, and take care of being social on her own". As if AS were a choice and not a disorder. AS is an invisiable disability for the most part and people expect them to be able to handle things like a "normal" person. Get a tough skin and do whatever you think is best. You are the expert in your child.
I don't think you should worry, just be proactive. Remain involved as you have been. Make sure that your daughter has a individual education plan. If she is in classroom where the teacher is focused on her individual needs, odds are that other children in her class will have special needs as well, and less likely to tease or bully your daughter, My son, now 11 as a PDD (pervasive developmental delay) diagnosis and shows traits of both Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. He hasn't had problems in school, just after school.
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