ENGL 111- ATH
Final Research Paper
“Only decades ago, experts thought a lack of parental affection was a major cause of autism — a notion that’s since been debunked” (n.p). Autism is a range of conditions characterized by difficulty with social interaction, communication, and in repetitive behaviors. The range of severity of conditions associated with autism makes it a spectrum. There are three different types of autism spectrum disorders which are the autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Autism is split into three levels of support based on the severity of conditions. The three levels are requiring support, requiring substantial support, and requiring substantial support.
Unlike with basic autism, in Asperger’s there is no speech and cognitive delays. It is also considered to be on level 1 of support. The lowest level requires the least amount of support out of the three. At the lowest level, it is not as apparent that they have difficulty in engaging in social interactions until they are older. They also have troubles switching from one thing to another, being organized, and planning things out. Children with Asperger’s should be in “regular” classrooms because it improves their social skills, learn appropriate behavior, how to be independent, and they are included in the community.
The need for academic and social supports increases throughout the school years for those with Asperger’s. “Asperger syndrome is different from other disorders on the autism spectrum in part because it was often diagnosed in older children and adults…” (Rudy n.p.). This is true because most pass their milestones until they are expected to have social relationships, hold a conversation, and dealing with distractions in the classroom. Social skills like the ability to understand sarcasm and body language are improved through the exposure of being in regular classrooms. Children in special classrooms, however, are there with people who also struggle with social communication. So how are they going to learn when the people around them do not understand as well.
People in regular classrooms though don’t understand and bully them. Coping other kids inappropriate behavior to feel included. This piece of opposition goes along with the idea of kids with Asperger cannot tell what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior but copy it to feel included with other classmates. But would you rather Asperger’s students copy inappropriate behaviors within a regular classroom or in a special classroom with other students who lack social skills? Children who lack social skills how can they learn appropriate behavior with their with peers who lack the same skills in a special classroom.
People with Asperger are often stereotyped as being okay with having no friends when in fact they long for friendship. This often eagerness to please makes them targets for bullies. Their want of feeling included with classmates makes them targets for bullying because they can’t pick on the social cues telling them a person has bad intentions. They also are targets because their tendency to overreact when they get in trouble. The bullies manipulate them by encouraging their bad behavior. This is the serious problem for all on the autism spectrum. But, if a student has a peer buddy this is likely not happen at all.
Peer buddy program pairs nondisabled and disabled students together. It is a friendship where both gain something from the interaction. The student with the disability learns appropriate behavior from the other student modeling good behavior. Students with Asperger Syndrome would also have a friend to listen to them and to point out potential bullies. Non-disabled get a better understanding of people who are like them but are different in some respects. Research shows that typically developing peers have more positive attitudes, increased understanding, and greater acceptance of children with Asperger Syndrome when provided with clear, accurate, and straightforward information about the disorder (28). Asperger social difficulties do not only impact their schooling but impact their ability to independent in life.
The ability to switch from one thing to another, be organized, and to plan things out are important skills for being independent. People with autism have trouble with organizational skills, regardless of their intelligence and/or age(n.p). These skills are a big struggle for those with Asperger’s Syndrome. There are unintended side effects of going to school. One of them is learning how to overcome challenges to get work done. This, in turn, helps to just live life in general. A tool Asperger student uses to keep organized is they list the assignments that they need to finish at home. That way they don’t forget. They can be in “regular” classrooms and not in a special classroom provided they have the right tools. Some would argue teachers are not prepared to handle those with Asperger Syndrome.
Public school teachers interact with a variety of different students every day. Their students each have their own faults and strengths. Teachers must be flexible to teach them all. Students with Asperger are not as hard to teach compared to others on the autism spectrum. Also, if there is a special education assistant in the classroom teachers would have help handling and keeping them under control. The assistant could help the child when switching activities. Plus, they could be trained to deal with them.
John McLaughlin, a researcher in special education, said: “Whether a child with autism attends a public or a private school, the important thing is that he or she not be isolated from the larger community” (n.p.). Students belong in a normal classroom with non-disabled students. By interacting with peers daily their social skills will improve. They will learn appropriate behavior by observation of peers modeling good behavior. Also with them communicating with peers they will be better equipped for when they enter into society. Finally, this goes a long way in being independent.
Barna, Mark. “Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Discover, July/August 2017. 38(6) 62-65 EBSCOhost, Web. Accessed on 9 November 2017
McLaughlin, John. “We Know Ways to Teach Kids With Autism.” Slate 13 July 2017
Web. Accessed on 24 October 2017
Moreno, Susan and Carol O’Neal. Tips for Teaching High-Functioning People with Autism . 2000.
Myles, Brenda, et al. Life Journey through Autism: An Educator’s Guide to Asperger Syndrome.
Organization for Autism Research, 2005, 1-101 ERIC. Accessed on 31 October 2017
Rudy, Lisa Jo. “Pros and Cons of Private School for Autistic Children.” Verywell 26 September 2016. Web. Accessed on 31 2017