Educators and other professionals in related fields have responded to the increasing prevalence of the condition by developing and implementing appropriate strategies and interventions even without sufficient understanding of the disorder. Teachers, counselors, school psychologists and others who render related services are encouraged to be familiar with the DSMIV-TR. They are also advised to acquire a working knowledge of the school-related characteristics of students with as so that they can deal with these students' learning needs. These children or learners exhibit typical social, behavioral or emotional, intellectual or cognitive, academic, sensory and motor characteristics. Many teachers remain incognizant of the special academic needs of as learners because these learners give the false impression that they comprehend the lesson. Their repetitive learning style and high-level of comprehension cover the deficits, which will otherwise reveal the disorder (Myles and Simpson).
These interventions and strategies are social and behavioral supports, academic planning and programming, and sensory accommodations (Myles and Simpson 2001). Social interventions and supports interpret social situations to these learners. Interpretations are needed and provided in situations requiring a recognition or understanding of facial expressions or gestures; the how and when of turn-taking; matching words with others' intentions or gestures; non-literal language like idioms and metaphors; and hidden curriculum on social rules. These strategies include cartooning, the situation-options-consequences-choices-strategies simulation strategy, social autopsies, explaining the hidden curriculum, and the Power Card. Complementary behavioral interventions and supports are still being understudy, pending clearly defined parameters. But as students can benefit from a basic management model, which is already applied on other children and youth. The model requires teachers and parents to target socially correct and pivotal responses for change; provide for careful measurement of the children's responses for change; systematically analyze those behaviors they intend to change along with the environmental and preceding factors connected with the behaviors; and choose and systematically use and assess suitable interventions and treatments. On the other hand, academic modifications increase structure and predictability. These include priming, classroom assignment changes, note-taking, graphic organizers, enrichment, and homework (Myles and Simpson).
A study found that games, as compared with free play, tend to produce more frequent positive interactions
One important finding in this study was that cooperative games bring participants to accomplish group or common tasks, which reduce negative interactions (Loy and Dattilo 2000). Comparative studies have also shown that inclusive games tend to increase negative reactions, such as expressing hostility and competing for attention and equipment. Other studies suggested that negative reactions could occur in games where groups competed; the environment was unpleasant or involuntary; and when the participants were frustrated. Some authors suggested the use of games structured to provide more chances for social interaction than free play. These would increase the frequency of social interactions among players more than if they engaged in free or play roles wherein they had less frequent or fewer social interactions. Educators and other experts handling as students consider cooperative games the best treatment so far in promoting social interactions among children with or without disabilities (Loy and Dattilo).
More and more schools have been sending their children to attend the summer camp sponsored by the Somerset County Park Commission for its success in helping children with as (Vinluan 2005). The Commission's program focused on children with inappropriately negative behavior on the playground. It has shown to help children develop both academic and functional skills and social and recreation skills. The sponsor creates an environment the children find comfortable in developing these social skills. It is one where they do not feel ostracized from other children. This program is neither standardized nor available nationwide. But a current bill is under revision to provide a similar opportunity to children with disabilities. It is believed that the bill will introduce the same opportunities for recreation therapists to work out similar programs with schools in different areas (Vinluan).
Federal law guarantees millions of disabled children with the right to attend public schools and to free and appropriate education (Vinluan 2005). One such modification is the Individualized Education Plan or IEP. It provides information about goals and objectives for the child, particularly those on education and educational problems. It also provides ways for parents and educators to measure the progress children make in attaining these goals and objectives. The Individuals and Disabilities Education Act or IDEA was enacted on June 4, 1997 to improve education for children with disabilities. On the other hand, the NRPA and the National Therapeutic Recreation Society or NTRS have been meeting to submit formal comments on the regulations of the IDEA. The Act provides for related services, such as recreation services. These include opportunities and professional support for recreational sports, enrichment and social activities and the identification of career activities. The NTRS representative recommended that therapeutic recreation specialists should be present when schools decide on their IEPs. This would provide children with disabilities like as to have access to and benefit from recreation and perform better in class. At present, however, therapeutic recreation is yet viewed as a primary service and therefore has not been integrated into the education curriculum (Vinluan).
The Center for Recreation and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina has applied recreation therapy for students with learning disabilities and listed a number of accomplishments from the endeavor (Vinluan 2005). These were improved communication and cooperation skills; improved cognitive functioning, such as in decision making, problem-solving and improved attention span; improved capacity to make independent choices; better social skills, more friends and higher levels of trust in others; stronger self-control and capacity to observe rules and procedures; more adaptive behaviors and fewer inappropriate behaviors; greater integration with the community and improved behaviors with those of the same developmental age; refined motor skills; improved coping skills; reduced stress and depression; greater self-awareness and self-esteem; and better quality use of one's time, as reported by as children themselves.(Vinluan).
Bower, B. (2006). Outside Looking in: Researchers Open New Windows on Asperger's Syndrome and Related Disorders. 6 pages. Science News: Science Service, Inc.
Frey, R. (2003). Asperger's Syndrome. 2 pages. Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders: Gale Group
Huffman, G.B. (2001). Autism: Detection, Evaluation and Interventions. 2 pages. American Family Physician: American Academy of Family Physicians
Loy, D.P. And John Dattilo, J. (2000). Effects of Different Play Structures on Social Interactions between a Boy with Asperger's Syndrome and His Peers. 19 pages. Therapeutic Recreation Journal: National Recreation and Park Association
Mayes, S.D., et al. (2001). Does DSS-IV Asperger's Disorder Exist? 14 pages. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology: Plenum Publishing Corporation