Tuesday, November 1, 2011

autism and education

fryfan20 has another post, on tumblr, called "autism and education":

@ad_astra30 asked me: Which aspects of your education were good for you/helped you to develop your potential, and what would you do differently when it comes to education for kids w/ autism. Especially when it comes to higher education. What would you have needed/wanted to make higher education more accessible for you?

I have been quite lucky with most of my education, I have been in special education for most of my life, witch was good for me because I would have had a lot more problems in the overcrowded schools. what really helped me was that my tutors really made time for me when I had problems and believed in me even when I didn’t, they gave me time and space to work everything out. when I tried out for higher education my luck ran out, I dropped out after 5 very long weeks. the main problem was that there was soo much to deal with from day one, new class, new people, other system, the classes where with a lot more people where from some where talking during class (I am very easy distracted by sound) and the speed in witch you have to learn things was just too great, especially cause I didn’t learn anything with all the other stuff going on.in an attempt to stay in school, I told my tutor about my autism, who sent me to the dean. I had a small talk to the dean and found out later that he had arranged with my tutor it was a good idea that me and my tutor talked every week, without asking me. with that also came that my tutor thought it was a good idea to trick me into telling the whole class about my autism witch gave me even more stress. he thought I was great, an example for all autistics that we can make it (no pressure ? ). I also tried to talk to the student psychologist as a last try to stay in school but she didn’t know anything about autism and after a half session was it clear that it would be no help.I stopped because my first test where coming up and I didn’t learn a single thing, I decided to keep the honour to myself.
what I think they could have done to help me stay in school is: make sure that there is someone that knows anything about autism in the school. a buddy-system with older autistic people in the school can be good, they know what the problems are and can support the new starting student. give the new student some time to adjust to the new environment, maybe a longer study-time can relieve some of the pressure. a be quiet rule in classes doesn’t seem very strange to me, chatty students can do so outside the classroom. in this school there was a rule that bugged me, if you didn’t have made enough personal growth in the first two years then you can be sent off school no matter how good you do in classes. for me that meant that I could be sent off because who I am after working very hard for two years and that would be heart breaking of course. if a student tells a tutor about any condition then this should be treated as confidential information that can’t be told without their consent. 
to make a long post not any longer, this is what I think of it and based on my experiences. 

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