ï»¿What problems do teenagers with Aspergerâ€™s syndrome face to achieve success in school and how can they be helped?
In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be different. For example if you have Aspergerâ€™s. But Aspergerâ€™s also brings extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated. (SOURCE 1). As Hans Aspergerâ€™s once said: â€œEverything that steps out of line, and thus abnormal, is not necessarily inferior.â€ (SOURCE 2).
Having Aspergerâ€™s can cause problems. In this paper, the focus will be on teenagers. In this stage of life, a lot of changes are ...view middle of the document...
In social interaction Aspies may fail to develop peer relations appropriate to their developmental level. They find it difficult to mix and canâ€™t quite fathom out what they are meant to do with other people. They may have a lack of being able to share enjoyment, interests or achievements with other people. Aspies often donâ€™t express their emotions nor show empathy for their peers. That doesnâ€™t mean an Aspie doesnâ€™t have empathy, it is just not expressed.
Imagination is often a problem for Aspies because they think there is only one truth and there is only one thing that can happen at a certain place and time. Once they start to imagine all the other things that could have happened at that place and time, millions of possibilities go through their head which causes a crash. Aspies think in facts, not in feeling or interpretation, which makes an Aspergerâ€™s mind base their thoughts on rationality.
(SOURCE ?: Freaks, geeks and Aspergerâ€™s Syndrome)
However Aspies are remarkably knowledgeable and have a high level of expertise and good vocabulary, making them similar to encyclopedias about the topic. (SOURCE 8)
Teenagers: Aspergerâ€™s and puberty interfere
During puberty, school becomes more demanding. In this period it is even harder for Aspie teenagers to deal with puberty and their Aspergerâ€™s. They often face rejection, isolation and bullying in a period they crave friendships and inclusion more than ever. That's why Diane Kennedy states: â€œThe years from twelve to seventeen are the saddest and most difficult time for people with Aspergerâ€™s Syndromeâ€. (SOURCE 3)
From the mentioned problems in communication and social interaction, it is not difficult to imagine that the Aspie teenager faces more difficulties in puberty.
During puberty teenagers feel a biological urge for independence. Looking for their own identity, teenagers can be cross and rebellious. They often feel insecure and that can be frustrating. This can cause conflicts with their family and community. What other teenagers think of them becomes very important. Being part of the group and not being excluded becomes important. (SOURCE http://www.kennislink.nl/publicaties/afwijkend-gedrag-bij-pubers-is-niet-meer-dan-normaal )
The transition from primary school to middle school is a big change. Being an Aspie teenager can be very hard because a teenager wants to become independent, but an Aspie still depends a lot on adults. Maybe the dependence is even bigger.
In middle school Aspies have to deal with more teachers. The Aspie student experiences the change of classroom, subject, and teacher as very stressful. Teachers of Aspies often pick up on problems with organizational abilities, especially with regard to homework assignments and essays. The satisfactory completion of homework requires constant attention from parents and teachers.
Not all teachers will be even willing to support the special accommodations..
Aspies appear to have...