The education of children with special needs can be a very stressful undertaking for the parents of those children. They must be advocates, paying close attention in meetings of the CSE team and making sure that their children are getting the services they need. In recent years, autism has been receiving an increased amount of attention from the larger American community and affects many students in our public schools. Because IDEA mandates that students be placed in the least restrictive environment, children with other learning needs are often mainstreamed into general classrooms.
While parents are able to challenge those placements, many others opt to pay for private schooling at a special school, designed specifically for children with certain needs. Whether it’s a school for Aspergers, schools for ADHD, or schools for dyslexia, there are institutions available that provide education specifically for students with certain classifications.
Students with Asperger’s, a form of autism are generally very high functioning, to the extent that the overlap between Asperger’s and HFA (autism unaccompanied by mental retardation) is vague. Adolescents with Asperger’s syndrome tend to exhibit difficulty with self care, organization, and socialization, often having preoccupations with very specific subject matter. Though these students can successfully be mainstreamed, sometimes with the help of a one-to-one aid or other special education services, many parents feel more comfortable enrolling their children in Aspergers schools.
Aspergers schools would employ teachers with special education certifications who have particular expertise in helping students with Asperger’s syndrome to succeed. Class sizes are typically smaller, and lessons and classes are designed specifically with the students in mind. Conversely, in a mainstream classroom lessons and classes are designed for mainstream students and tweaked to work for any IEP students in the room. Some teachers who haven’t had special education training might not even be sure how to provide adequate support for students with Asperger’s syndrome.
It isn’t difficult to see why an Asperger’s school would appeal to students with the syndrome and their parents. Asperger’s does not impair intellect, in fact many students with Asperger’s are incredibly intellectually gifted. Giving those students the opportunity to foster growth through specialized education is an excellent opportunity. Ger more information on this topic here.