Special Education: Addressing Asperger’s Autism Essay

1319 words - 5 pages

Special education is evolving, evolving in form and substance. Education of the special needs population in the United States lacks uniformity of purpose and deed. In many school districts within the United States, special education creates a financial burden that subjugates the traditional programs (Higbee, Katz, & Shultz, 2010). The lack of consistency to approach and positive results has created academic chaos for methods and strategies in working with the special needs population. The difficulty in educating special needs children to develop their academic and social skills has created many strategies for supposed benefit, and in fairness, some work for some children. Too many instances exist where not all children benefit (p. 8). The problem is developing a strategy and curriculum that provides for the needs of all children whether they are involved in an inclusive, mainstreaming, or self-contained classroom. This is particularly significant with a particular segment of the special needs population, Asperger’s autism. Asperger’s autism is a controversial diagnosis, a diagnosis that creates a schism of psychiatric thought. Some psychiatrists classify this as a pervasive developmental disorder, while other psychiatrists see this as a form of personality disorder that has many traits associated with schizophrenia (Odom, Buysee, & Soukakou, 2011). The Asperger’s child lacks emotional development normally associated with their age group. An example that illustrates the emotional development issue concerns age appropriate demonstrations of concern or awareness in their environment. Many of the Asperger’s children are not able to tell whether someone is making fun of them and will join in making fun of themselves as unsuspecting participants. This is endemic to their thought process of fitting in with the group they are associated with on a daily basis. As a result, there are special schools designed only for Asperger’s children and the traditional schools are unable to meet the needs of this population on a consistent basis (p. 345). Mainstreaming of these students creates unique circumstances that many times frustrate the teacher and fellow students. Inclusive approaches are expensive and tax limited school resources. Academically and socially, the inclusive approach offers the most help for these students (p. 348). However, the distractions and interventions necessary for success cause complications for their classmates. Self-contained classrooms limit the Asperger’s student’s ability for the necessary social interactions to grow both socially and emotionally; therefore, the problem of which practice or practices promotes overall academic and social growth for Asperger’s children is my primary focus.
The necessity of research for this problem is both self evident and academically proven. Research indicates Asperger’s students who mainstreamed achieved lower academic marks than their peers, which experience inclusionary practices ...

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