Asperger Syndrome: Put Those Kids to Work!

By Dan Coulter We’d do anything for our kids with Asperger Syndrome. Is that always a good thing? Hmmmmmm. Hard to say. It’s good if we can figure out what we need to do for our kids versus what they need to do for themselves. And that’s not always easy. Maybe an outside view would be good. I talked with the director of a high school job placement program for special needs kids and she laid it on the line, “I think these kids are too often...well...babied. They need to do more for themselves." You should know that this program director, Mary Beth Berry, cares passionately about her charges. She’s amazingly persuasive at getting employers to give the kids in her program real work expe

Teaching Social Skills Frontwards

by Dan Coulter Why do we tend to teach social skills backwards? Instead of consistently teaching our kids manners, many of us wait until they do something wrong and then correct them. Imagine using this approach in a driver's education class. They'd put you in a manual transmission car with no training. Then they'd turn on the engine and shove the car into the street, expecting you to learn to drive from the helpful suggestions yelled at you by other drivers. Anybody think that’s an optimal learning situation? To give us parents the benefit of the doubt, we don’t use poor teaching tools on purpose. We do what seems obvious at the time. But, looking back, I’m sort of amazed that I kept t

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