Asperger 101 Workshop

by PammyMcB

Before I began the Asperger 101 Workshop, I did not realize how Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism differed. I realized that Asperger’s Syndrome is on the spectrum of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). I also understood that children with Asperger’s Syndrome are higher functioning than children with Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and other ASDs.

Other differences I noticed were how the educational needs differ for students with lower functioning ASDs and students with Asperger’s Syndrome. For instance, Individual Educational Plans (IEP) focus more on meeting the social needs of students with Asperger’s Syndrome. The State of Texas defines the disability as a “Social Learning Disability.” Therefore, providing the student with objectives that give them the opportunity to enhance their reciprocal social interactions is imperative to meeting the educational needs of the student.

After taking the workshop, I agree that the social interactions are key in educating students with Asperger’s Syndrome. For instance, it can be clearly argued that social skills can directly affect the student’s ability to reach educational goals. If a student with Asperger’s Syndrome does not know the rules to social interactions, they may be disruptive in class, which affects the education of all of the students due to the teacher’s need to redirect the student. Therefore, I can further argue that the lack social skills can be directly linked to behavioral difficulties of students with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Another reason social skills is important is that students who do not have social skills may speak out of turn or may not be capable of participating in cooperative learning projects. If it is our goal to prepare students for their future, whether it is for education or other purposes, then it is our responsibility to make sure the students have the social skills necessary to successfully reach their future goals.

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