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Autism Spectrum Disorder
There are many different definitions for the term special education. An effective definition for special education is that its specialized instruction that students with disabilities are entitled to receive as articulated in IDEA, (Friend, M). There are many different disabilities that can entitle a student to special education. Students are entitled due to learning disorders, mental retardation, physical disabilities, and also disorders such as autism. In this paper I will discuss doctors, schools, and educators that has had made a difference in the life of a student with autism.
Born, February 18, 1906, Hans Asperger was an Austrian pediatrician that published the first definition of Asperger’s Syndrome in 1944. Asperger did a study on four boys and acknowledged a pattern of behavior and abilities that he called “autistic psychopathy”. The word autistic means self and psychopathy means personality disease. According to Asperger, the pattern included a lack of empathy, little ability to form friendships, one-sided conversations, intense abruptions in a special interest, and clumsy movements.
Children with Asperger’s Syndrome had the ability to discuss their favorite subject in great detail and for that reason Asperger often called them “little professors”. Asperger passed away October 21, 1980, before the identification of this pattern of behavior became widely recognized. Today, technology plays a major role in the life of a student with ASD such as the software Mind Reading, which helps them cope with the disorder ASD and learn different skills daily.
Mind Reading is a software that covers the entire spectrum of emotions, and is suitable for the ages of 5 through adult hood. Using the software can help a student explore over 412 emotions, allowing them to hear the emotions by six different people. Mind Reading also provides context, there are 2472 faces, voices, and stories about emotions. Mind Reading is inexpensive for its value. Parents can purchase Mind Reading for $129 for the DVD that contains the emotions library module, games zone, and learning center modules. This DVD can also be run on computers. There is a more expensive software starting at $499 that would be used for classrooms.
This device is the DVD with Site License. This package contains 4CDROM disks that are used to install the product directly to the hardware. Mind Reading software can be helpful to a student with ASD in a classroom, by helping them learn their emotions and how to cope with them. This software allowing them to hear so many voices, see so many faces, and hear many different stories gives them the knowledge that they are not the only one’s feeling those different emotions. Aside from the Mind Reading software, there are also different institutions that are helpful to students with ASD and tend to their emotions.
There are places such as the New England Center for Children that’s available to students with ASD. NECC has twenty-five years of practical experience. Located in Massachusetts, it is accessible to students with ASD from all over. NECC has a commitment to respectfully provide high quality educational services, and to help each student to reach his or her individual potential and to lead a productive and independent a life as possible. NECC offers several services such as academic, speech and language therapy; development of social and life skills, vocational training, physical education, occupational therapy, family services, outreach services and health care.
Independence is strictly emphasized at NECC. There are schools such as Heartspring that serves children with various disabilities as well as schools such as Pacific Autism Center for Education that has residential group homes. Parents may prefer to send their children to a school that serves children with ADS versus an inclusion classroom, because their needs are specifically identified at a school for ASD. Inclusion classrooms are great for social skills but it can cause confusion when it comes to there needs being met. Schools are not the only supporters of ASD; there are also several agencies that serve students with ASD.
Bernard Rimland founded the Autism Society of America (ASA) in 1965. ASA is dedicated to increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with autism, there families and the professionals they interact with. ASA and its chapters share a common mission of providing information and education as well as research and advocating for programs and services for the autism community. An important service that ASA provides is valuable peer support. Peer support is valuable because it brings together parents and families who are dealing with the same emotions as the others; rather they are joyful or painful.
Overall, I believe that if Hans Asperger was still alive today he would be actively involved in the different organizations and agencies providing services for students with ASD. The study that Hans Asperger did has increased in knowledge and if he was still alive today he would have contributed to the study done and correct the assumptions done by society. If Hans Asperger could send a message to me a future professor, it would probably say to be patient with the students with ASD and to take the time to try and understand them. Hans story has inspired me as a future teacher because he watched two young children and noticed something different in them. With what he noticed he did a study and found interesting facts that nobody else ever noticed. That alone has been an inspiration, and a note to me to watch your students and notices there differences it could have a special meaning behind it.
ASA, The Voice of America. (2004). Chapter Descriptions. Retrieved March 20, 2006 from http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ChapterIntro
Autism Coach. (2004). Mind Reading. Retrieved March 20, 2006, from http://autismcoach.com/Mind%20Reading.htm
The New England Center for Children. (2001). Programs and Services. Retrieved March 27, 2006, from http://www.necc.org/programs_services/services.asp
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2006). Hans Asperger. Retrieved March 20, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hans_Asperger&printable=yes