Parents of children with Aspergers Syndrome are concerned about their child’s education and rightfully so. These children have special needs that may or may not be addressed in the regular school environment. Parents must research the options available to them and compare these options with the alternative option of homeschooling.
Regular school environment for Children with Aspergers Syndrome
Often time the regular school environment may be able to help children with Asperger Syndrome. Since they are high functioning, these children can be helped at a regular school in a regular classroom setting, or the particular school may have a special education class. Children with Asperger Syndrome do well in a smaller classroom setting with a higher level of individualized help. The school should provide therapy which in some schools can be done right in the classroom its self.
Public schools are usually more equipped to handle the various special needs of children with different conditions because of their large volume than the average private school would be able to do.
To start with, as a parent you may inquire at your local school. Get in contact with the teacher, principal and school guidance counselor to see what is available at that school. From there you can contact your local school district to see what resources are available as well.
Private schools may have a special program geared for students with Asperger Syndrome. They might even cater to areas where your child is high functioning such as specialized music programs etc.
Boarding schools are options for children with Aspergers Disease. Some of the more famous ones include the New Leaf Academy in North Carolina and New Leaf Academy in Oregon, . However, this school is a therapeutic school for girls only.
On the other hand, the Devereux Glenholme School is a middle school for boys and girls, which fosters the academic,social and therapeutic environment necessary for children to with Aspergers Syndrome to strive and do well.
Social interaction and empathy training are key skills training for these young people. These schools help prepare children with Aspergers syndrome to understand and communicate socially. The schools prepare young people for academic pursuits in regular schools and colleges as well.
Many parents prefer that their children live as normal a life as possible, while others feel that their children would learn more by being home schooled.
The “aspie child” as they are often called may be too stressed out by a regular school environment. It is not guaranteed that there are trained special education teachers available in the local school, or that there are classes small enough to accommodate the special needs of these children. Even a private tutor is hard to find, as most tutors are not trained to deal with children with special needs.
Since children with Aspergers syndrome are odd enough that they do not fit in, they are often victims of bullying and the school board simply does not have the staff to constantly shadow these children to make sure they are safe.
Teachers do not have the time to give them the one to one special care they need and to constantly praise them when they try to reach out to make friends.
Many parents are concerned that their special needs children will just fall through the cracks, while others cannot afford the expense of special boarding schools. Most parents do want their children so far away from home.
These concerns leave the parents worried about finances, and safety issues at local and boarding schools on the one hand, and if their children will get the social interaction they need so much when they are home schooled.
There is help for parents who decide to home school their children.
Many areas have homeschooling groups and social events, where the children and the parents can socialize and help and support are provided.
If you decide in favor of homeschooling, again, get in touch with your state education board to find out the curriculum and format that you must follow.
Many children with Asperger syndrome start out with homeschooling and then go on to public or private schools when they social skills are developed enough for integration into the education system.
For resources for homeschooling children with Aspergers Syndrome click here: http://www.homeschooldiner.com/specials/special_needs/aspergers_support.html
The decision for regular schooling, boarding school, or homeschooling will ultimately rest with the parent. As a parent you know your child better than anyone else. Your ultimate goal is give your child the most enriched learning environment as possible, while taking in his or her academic, social, and safety needs.