Medical Essay on Aspergers Syndrome in Children

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1391 words
Vanderbilt University
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Case study
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Aspergers syndrome is a neurological developmental disability that affects the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum (Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders Sourcebook). Nowadays it is not considered as a diagnosis on its own, but as a subtype of a bigger disorder known as autism spectrum disorder. This syndrome affects how people (the victims) relate with other people, it also affects how they view the world and how they are obsessed to do things their way. The syndrome has no cure, hence if one has it they have it for the rest of their lives, though there are strategies and approaches that may assist live a better life. They hear, see and feel the world differently, some see it as overwhelming and this makes them very anxious (Tantam 296-299). People with the syndrome face some difficulties when learning but not as much as those faced by other autistic people. Their intelligence is average and others above average. They may face difficulties with speech, processing and also understanding language. In this case, the child in grade 6 and in an inclusive school (where students that are disabled and those that are not are taught together) may face some difficulties when learning.

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He comes from a humble background in Ohio, has two siblings older than him and hes the only boy, both parents are alive and well. His family realized that he faced difficulties with social communications and interactions; he also had repetitive patterns of behavior to the extent that they impeded his functioning (Murphy 375-375). At first, they just thought of him as naughty since the syndrome does not make the victims look disabled in any way. He was later diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome. His wonderful family are capable enough to provide for all his needs. The parents are depressed, but the love for their child outweighs all other feelings. His siblings can accommodate him in the best way possible, they have learnt to live with him. They all understand what hes going through and have vowed to battle through the challenges he faces together. Hes enrolled in an inclusive school in grade 6 where he is taught like other students. He has his difficulties with school since the syndrome makes him look strange socially when compared to the other nonautistic students. Intelligence wise, he seems above average.

After talking to the teacher, these were his comments concerning the childs progress. The child faced lots of difficulties but at least he was persevering well with his life at school. His intelligence was really helping him a lot during learning sessions. The child had difficulties with creating rapports with fellow students, this could impede his studies and it was an obstacle to his educational progress. The teacher was positive about the childs progress though he thought there was room for improvement for the child. He thought that the child offered unique challenges to work with. After interviewing the child this is what he had to say about his current progress in school. He had difficulties with learning and understanding what was taught. He would collide with fellow students since some did not understand him and his social problems. Learning was sometimes difficult; teaching would go on even when he had not understood abstract concepts. Some teachers did not know that he had a disorder that could impede his studies, others just did not care. He sometimes used to be considered as naughty since most people did not understand his disorder; for these he could face unwarranted punishments from some administrators. He thought the school could do better on his part, if not, a school that understood him better would be better off.

The child faces many difficulties. He faces problems with the ability to process stimuli, both facial and nonfacial. He cannot tell when someone is joking, when someones tone has changed and so he cannot know when someone is angry at them, problems with identifying if someone is being sarcastic or vague. Problems with depression and anxiety weigh him down (). Seeking comfort from people is something he cannot do, feels better by himself since he finds people can sometimes be very overwhelming. He may face a problem with insensitivity, this makes him look very strange since its socially inappropriate. Theres also the difficulty in knowing what his classmates want from him from conversations. He experiences echolalia whereby he repeats what his classmates say. Its hard for him to form friendships since he does know how to go on with it. Hes not comfortable with change, but he can prepare for changes in advance, his daily routine is one that is predictable and is adhered to each day. Changing that can be very difficult.

The child faces some difficulties during class time; he cannot be able to understand what his fellow students want from conversations. Theres a difficulty in understanding some crucial concepts in class. This impedes his educational progress unlike the nonautistic students. During recess time, some fellow students do not understand him and find him very strange, hes not able to form friendships. He finds this very difficult and overwhelming.

The individual education plan is a piece of document that was developed in every public school for students who need special education. The plan is playing an important role in his educational learning progress. Hes not left behind as much. It helps him go hand in hand with fellow students. Some teachers are there for him through thick and thin. Its depressing for him not understanding concepts like other students, but hes glad that the teachers are there for him always. Hes responding well to the individual education plan and he claims that without these his progress would be greatly deterred, this was seconded by the teachers and fellow students.

The school can support him further by educating teachers and fellow students about Aspergers syndrome (Betts, Betts and Gerber-Eckard). This will certainly make life for the child easier and better in the school. Students will be able to accommodate him, be his friends, even with his strange behaviors. The school can enroll some more students with the same disabilities or even other disabilities so that he can see hes not the only one suffering. Teachers could develop lesson guides for introducing autism to a class. The school should form lunchtime clubs, buddy systems, and social skills classes to be able to help him. They should also create safe places for him to go to if he feels anxious or in need of some time out. The change should be minimal; he should be given enough time to change in case of any changes. This will help prevent him from building up anxiety.

The child should have more special programs in the school that deal with his autistic disorders. Due to his unique social difficulties, the child should be eligible for special educational services ("Recommendations" 6); primarily those based with autistic spectrum disorders. The school can try to support him in the best way possible, but personally an institution that primarily deals with students with Aspergers syndrome would be better off. All the childs needs and requirements will be catered for in such an institution. This would help the child learn and better himself and learn of ways to improve his social communication skills. By doing this, on completion of his education the child will be able to communicate with the outside world since the disorder will be a part of him his whole life.

The school should be able to better its inclusion policy. The needs for the autistic child are not only in the classroom, but also in places such as playgrounds and dining halls. It should be able to cater for the childs social well-being. All these should be evaluated to better the life of the child on how to communicate with others, this is very important in todays world. Education alone will surely not help the child if he cannot be able to communicate with others.


Tantam, Digby. "Understanding Asperger Syndrome or Understanding People with Asperger Syndrome?". PsycCRITIQUES 48.3 (2003): 296-299. Web.

Murphy, D. G.M. "Asperger Syndrome". The British Journal of Psychiatry 179.4 (2001): 375-375. Web.

Betts, Stacey W, Dion E Betts, and Lisa N Gerber-Eckard. Asperger Syndrome in The Inclusive Classroom. 1st ed. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007. Print.

"Recommendations". The Future of Children 2.2 (1992): 6. Web.

Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders Sourcebook. 1st ed. Print.

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