Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Clinic Notes: Asperger's and Bullying

Whenever I get young children in my clinic who have been diagnosed with high functioning autism or Asperger's I think about how they are going to fare in school. Of course, I know that if they are not compliant and verbal and have age appropriate skills they are not going to do well so these are the ABA programs that I run first. ABA programs to develop social skills are not run for a while and if they are then they are run with a lesser intensity. I want these kids to do well socially from the beginning but if I cannot get to the programs I know that social problems such as bullying don't usually start until middle school. I may have to rethink my ABA programming. According to a recent Schafer report Five elementary school student is Oregon are going to be charged with assault after they beat a classmate with autism with sticks.

2 comments:

Astrid van Woerkom said...

Dr. Brown,
I may misinterpret you, but to me, your post comes across as if to say that, because some elementary school children assaulted a child with Autism (and I would be not at all surprised if it were happening in many more elementary schools), that means you have to drill AS/HFA children on social skills at an earlier age? In other words, because mean children beat a child with a disability, that child's disability has to be drilled out? It seems that if kids are mean, their meanness needs to be drilled out. I don't oppose social skills training (wished it for myself years ago, long before I was diagnosed ASD, for reasons not related to bullying), but it makes no sense to want to change a child because others mistreat that child. After all, you wouldn't put a non-disabled bully victim through your social skills drilling program, would you?

Alyx said...

I agree with the Dr. How is he supposed to change the other children? If there is a chance that my child will be less of a "target" because she has appropriate social skills, I will take it. I have a 5 yo with Asperger's and I'm seriously considering homeschool...