If It Looks like a Duck…

As an educator and having taught for a long time, we strive to help students understand the material that they need to learn. Of course, not all students learn the same way, in education we call this differentiated learning. Some students are visual, some are auditory and others are self read. Many students need the actually doing of, to grasp the understanding of a concept; hands on activities. Many times, there will be students who have a hard time learning the material like other students normally can. These, learning disabilities, are just a part of any teachers awareness for their students. As of late, I have felt that autism as been a little bit over diagnosed. Even though the student may have OCD or ADHD, this doesn’t qualify them as autistic. I can say though since I do have the actual diagnoses of Asperger’s Syndrome, it’s not too difficult for me to spot another person with the same disorder. There was a time when I had to have this talk with a parent about my concerns for their child because he had all of the calling cards for Asperger’s but, the father was refusing to get him tested. So, I turned to mom who had her suspicions but, she wasn’t too sure if she should have had her son tested or not. I told her she really needed to get him tested so he could receive the proper support he would need to be successful in school. I don’t know if she ever followed through but, I’d like to think she probably did. I’m noticing there really is a fine line between people who really are autistic and those who only have maybe one disability thus slapping the wrong label on the person to inflate numbers. Yes, there have been times when I had a student who was labelled autistic but, after hours of observation in the classroom I had some serious doubts about the diagnose. We really need to be careful.

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