Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Asperger's programs in schools

We are considering a move to Seattle.

Normally, I wouldn't want to go AT ALL, because the housing costs will be double to triple of what they are in our current location. But I am interested in going because I am under the impression that there is a high concentration of people with Asperger's in Seattle. I've been doing research about the schools, social skills groups, etc., for over a year now, and it seems like there is a lot there for people with Asperger's.

My question is -- if there are high schools or middle schools with Asperger classrooms, is that a good thing or a bad thing? It could be good, because then there might be specialized curriculum, or maybe just teachers who "get" Aspergers, who will understand that there needs to be more time given for tests, or that a student not looking them in the eye isn't being disrespectful, etc. An Asperger's classroom might be good because of the comradery between the students, the pleasure of knowing that there are other people out there who are just like you, and it's an OK thing, and in some ways, a superior thing to be someone with Asperger's.

BUT -- would an Asperger's classroom be a little like segregation? Would it separate these kids even moreso from the rest of their peers? Do the rest of the middle school/high school kids point to the Asperger's classroom and say stuff like "That's where the weird kids go"? Part of me thinks no, because Seattle seems to be just one those areas where almost everything and everyone is accepted (think garage bands, Kurt Cobain, liberal politics, etc., etc.).

I would really like to hear what a kid who has been through one of these Asperger classrooms thinks of the system. Or a parent's point of view. Knowing this information could make the difference between us moving away from what is currently a pretty good situation for my son, or staying here and having my husband commute.


Hit Counters