Sarah - posted on 04/12/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )
I have a son 9 years old who was diagnosed with aspergers syndrome when he was 4, about 6 months before he started school, now since then I have found that there are 5 types of teachers that I have encountered not all of them have been his, but all have delt with him at some point for some small amount of time.
The wost of these was the teacher he had on his first day of primary school, who pulled me aside to say that he wasn't settling in to class routines, and wasn't socalising. I responded that he had aspergers and had only been verbal for about 9 months, "I know that" the teacher said, "but, you are going to have to do something about that." this type is the "aspergers isn't a real thing" type and I will call tham type 1, they are generally from the older generation although not all older people fall into this category, and not all people in this category are old, I say they are generally older, because it seems to stem from a "in my day" attitude, they think the parents are to blame for not being more strict etc.
Type 2 are the "aspergers is real, but not my responcibility" these teachers will expect you to come to class to spend one on one time with your child, they think that any aspergers related problems, like lack of attention, and mood swings are the parents problems to deal with, if they need any extra attention, that is your problem. don't get me wrong these teachers can sometimes get very good results, especially if your childs aspergers is mild wich is likely if they are in a mainstream class, this attitude encorages parents to become more involved, and encorages the child to meet the same expectations as the rest of the class, the teacher I have in mind my son loved, they were no nonsence, but their attitude could be abrupt and often rubbed the wrong way.
Type 3, well their isn't much to say about them, they fall in the middle, they understand your child has aspergers, will do a little research, mostly to find out what aspergers is, occasionally will give you some info they found interesting, that they think may help, understand that they have to find ways to deal with your child but won't bother you unless there is some major problem, and will mostly treat them like every other child, while not setting high expectations. This can be good or bad, it really depends on the attitude behind it all, if its a general appathy, this can meen that problems will go unnoticed.
Type 4, will constantly be on the internet looking up articles, or working one on one with your child to come up with strategies and "tricks" (as one teacher told me) for deeling with your child, again this can be good or bad, these teachers can have real results with your child, but mostly they think that it's all down to the trick, these teachers with normal children will have tricks too, it's a personality type, they are like super nanny with her get down to eye level ect. There is nothing wrong with this, except that it's all about rules, not experience, or gut instinct, and all aspergers children can be unpredictable, what worked yesterday, didn't work today, because someone was in their spot at lunch, or the dog barked at them on the way to school, it dosn't matter what caused the problem, what matters is that this teacher type often won't have the tools to deal with an off day. Also these teachers can have a tendancy to assume that all aspergers children are the same and will all be severe, they have had problems understanding that just because my son likes eating his sandwich for little lunch, dosn't mean he is ocd, not all aspergers kids are, my son had speach delays, and has fine motor problems now, he has never exhibited a problem beeing cuddled,but dosn't like the rain. He won't show his working out in maths, but will usually get the answer right. These teachers will often blindly assume he is "rainman" and will not change their veiw no matter how long they deal with them.
Type 5, will be all about the research and the techniques, and will be going to seminars and workshops, they understand that your child is special, and individual, but these techers are few and far inbetween. They will often make sure to share any research with you that is unusual or you will be unlikely to get a hold of, they are more likely to implement more unusual techhniques. Often when I come across one of these wonder that they went into general teaching and didn't specalise.
All of these have their place, just not with your child the teacher I talked about first for example, only had that son his first day, but had my other son for two years, and he loved them, so by no means am I saying that any of these teachers are bad types, I'm simply, discusing my experiences with them dealing with aspergers.