Autism and Schools, Post
Autism and Schools
Autism and Schools concern parents and teachers and how children with a Level 1 diagnosis are taught. While the DSM-V removed Asperger’s Syndrome as a separate diagnosis, it includes it on the Autism Spectrum. It replaces Asperger’s with the name, Level 1 Autism, but the diagnostic descriptors are the same.
Link on this site that discusses the who and how of this diagnosis: Autism Level 1, Post
For a diagnosis, the DSM-IV states:
“severe and sustained impairment in social interaction, and the development of restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests and activities that must cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”
Level 1 Autism is obvious: All of the descriptors need to be present for a diagnosis to be made. In their mildest forms, these impairments still require support in the classroom.
Any teacher will recognise quite quickly “severe and sustained impairment” in “communication, repetitive behaviour and restricted interests”. But it is not for teachers to suggest to parents that this might be the diagnosis that should be made. Teachers are not doing that and refer a child to a psychologist. On the other hand, no parent would need to tell another person that their child has a Level 1 diagnosis. Autism is plain to see.
Reasons some parents want an autism diagnosis: While there is greater awareness today than in previous decades, it does not allay fear in professional circles that there is a situation of over-diagnosis. Many parents of struggling children want a diagnosis such as this to get extra help for their child in the classroom which would not be available without it. And yet it defies logic that with the descriptors above, anyone could possibly miss a person walking in our midst or a child in the classroom who is on the spectrum.
Worksheets on this site may help children on the spectrum. If your child is not responding as well to educational programmes at school, try these literacy packages to improve literacy on a one-to-one basis. The format from one package to another is predictable and tasks are numbered. This standardised layout may help these children.