It’s important to have an individualised educational plan in place to help your Asperger’s child excel. This can help them succeed in school, build social skills, and improve their confidence, independence and become an active member of the classroom. There are different types of learning environments for children with Asperger’s syndrome, namely, dedicated Aspergers Schools, dedicated classes, integrated classes, withdrawal classes, regular classes with direct support, and regular classes with indirect support. Moreover, Asperger’s schools vary in the type of support they offer. Different Aspergers Schools offer different accommodations, modifications, and services for kids with Asperger’s. However, these are not your only options. With a dedicated Star Academy team, we promote inclusive education into mainstream schools, with Individualised Education Plans, to aid your child in their success. We often find that as long as your child has the prerequisite skills for a mainstream school and/or enters with adequate support, the mainstream school environment offers more good social models and more opportunities to practice the social and perspective-taking skills your child needs than an Aspergers school does.
The aim of our Star Academy school facilitation programme is to tailor an education plan for the child that would provide them with the best school setting for their abilities. Our goal is for the child to be an active and ultimately independent member of the classroom. Allocating a trained Star Academy facilitator to the child will allow the child to stay on par in the classroom and eventually the end goal being, the removal of the facilitator and the independence of the child at school.
Once a Star Academy supervisor has been assigned, the Supervisor will meet with the parent, conduct an intake assessment based on the 8 domains of human functioning and the chosen school to discuss the school placement. At the first meeting with the school, the Supervisor will discuss what is required for the particular child to be successfully placed in the school setting and what objectives we will need to reach. The initial school meeting will cover items such as how many hours a day the child should be placed in school with facilitation, at what times of the day and which lessons the child should attend and any other specific details relevant to the child.
At the Star Academy we have an integration of a variety of environments. For example, some children may attend school with their Star Academy Instructors for the morning and then come back to the Academy for one-on-one ABA sessions for the remainder of the day. Once the Star Academy supervisor has assessed your child, he/she will make a recommendation in respect to school hours vs one-on-one hours of instruction.
On the autism spectrum, Asperger’s is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. Asperger’s children have special educational needs and the appropriateness of their educational situation is a critical part of their academic and personal success from preschool through college.
Parents must research a variety of factors when deciding on an education plan for their Asperger child and school while also remembering that the ultimate objective is full independence of the child in society. These factors will include:
- Logistics and proximity of school
- Track record and experience of schools and organisations with inclusive education and trained professionals to form a collaborative approach
- Qualifications, training and experience of staff
- Size of the class
- Teacher’s interaction with the child
At The Star Academy, we understand that there is no silver bullet when it comes to working with children on the Autism Spectrum and that few generalised strategies will yield the desired results because no two children are the same. An Aspergers school may offer understanding for the academic teaching of ASD children, however academic growth is not the only area where these children need professional support to assist them with developing certain skills required later in life. At The Star Academy, we support your child in all areas that they would need assistance with, to become a successful member of the classroom.
Making these decisions can be daunting for any parent. While an Aspergers school may be an appropriate placement, mainstream schooling with an individualised education plan in place and a team of Board Certified Autism Technicians at your disposal, hugely widens your pool of options. When it comes to designing programmes and educational plans for children on the Autism spectrum, the team at The Star academy understands all the factors and influences involved. An integrated model with tailor-made programmes must be applied to ensure that all factors are taken into account for not only the child, but the family as a whole.
In summary, there is no doubt that a child with Asperger’s, requires support when it comes to schooling and other developmental areas. This being said Aspergers schools or special needs schools are an option, but as previously mentioned, Asperger schools should rather be integrated into the mainstream class and the “label” and the exclusion it brings with it should be done away with. However, individualised programmes, run in conjunction with schools, or dedicated individual therapy based on experience and research yield more results and faster progression for the children. It is crucial to consult a professional, such as a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst or Board Certified Autism Technician, in this regard in order to construct the right education plan, intervention plan, school placement, and ABA instruction.
We hope to empower you with the information to guide you in making decisions regarding treatment options and Asperger schools. We encourage parents to do their own research as far as possible. The Star Academy’s website is filled with resources that is aimed at guiding educated decisions for parents and offer support. For further information about the best fit for your child with regards to Asperger schools or other support programmes that is accessible to you as a parent and programmes for your child, please contact the Star Academy.