Today Is Going To Be Different

By Dan Coulter Matt’s eyes dart around the classroom. Jennifer smiles shyly at him as their eyes meet. His pulse is racing. Everyone is getting seated and class is about to start. Today is going to be different. Yesterday, his class learned about Asperger Syndrome. The school counselor came and told everyone what it was and how it affected Matt. The counselor had talked with Matt and his parents beforehand, and they had agreed about what the counselor would say. He didn’t make it sound like a disease or a big problem. Instead, the counselor explained that Matt’s brain processed information differently in some ways, and that made some things harder for Matt. But he also described how it

They Know: Classmates and Asperger Syndrome

By Dan Coulter I’ve heard it too often. The teasing and rejection that many children with Asperger Syndrome face in school from classmates who don’t understand why they act different. The frustration and impatience from teachers who assume that these students are simply being disrespectful, stubborn, or lazy. I’ve also often heard about how much things have improved for children with Asperger Syndrome when teachers and classmates learn about AS. Parents who were concerned that they’d make things worse for their children if they disclosed the facts, have told me how those disclosures made things better. If you’re the parent of a child with AS worried about what will happen if other students

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