Should a Child with Aspergers be Put in Special Education

One disorder that often goes unnoticed until later years is Asperger’s Syndrome.  By the time the child is around age 3 the parents usually notice that the child seems a bit quirky.  By the time the child is diagnosed with Asperger’s they are usually already attending school.  The question is should children with Asperger’s (Aspies) be put in special education or continue in average classes.  Note that I am not a doctor.  I am an Aspie and know several others so a lot of the statements here will be more from experience and observances rather than written sources.  No information here should be used in a diagnostic process.  If upon reading this you feel your child might have Asperger’s you should talk to a doctor about an actual diagnosis.

 The diagnosis of Asperger’s is often scary to a parent.  What parents know about Asperger’s is usually not much.  Often times parents confuse Asperger’s with autism.  The truth is that although the two are related disorders they are not the same.  People with Asperger’s are often very high functioning and have an above average IQ.  Many people with autism will be dependent on someone for the rest of their lives while Aspies usually are able to cope by themselves with very little therapy.  When parents hear the diagnosis it is often instinct to believe that the child won’t be able to keep up with average classes and the child should be put in special education. 

But usually this is because the parent is connecting the disorder with autism.  A person with Asperger’s is actually often able to keep up with average classes better than the “average” student.  This isn’t always true, but I’d say about 80% of the time it is.  Often times it seems the child isn’t able to do the work the way it is meant to be done because the child makes up his own way, but usually their way still comes out with the correct answer.  I was like this in math.  I would study it and find the way that was easiest for me.  The teacher would have no earthly idea what I was doing, but I would get the correct answer.  Often times while an Aspie is doing a problem their way the teacher automatically thinks they are doing it wrong.  The truth is that they see an easier way the problem can be solved.

For the fact that an Aspie is usually more advanced academically than his or her peers I feel it is wrong to put them in special education unless they show that they cannot keep up.  Just remember that they might not work the problems like everyone else.   But working a different way doesn’t make them incapable of keeping up.  I might not have done accounting the same way as everyone else in the class did, but everyone else  was still on chapter 1 when I finished Chapter 6, so actually sometimes working a different way man make others unable to keep up.