1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

AS teachers

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by margot_ledbetter, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. I am a primary school teacher with a personal interest in the autistic spectrum. ASD runs in my family and I am more than convinced I am on the spectrum myself - although unlikely to obtain a confirmed diagnosis, for reasons I am unwilling to go into here.

    I am very widely read on the subject and have had success in my practice with children who are on the spectrum in mainstream education. I'd like to move into specialist ASD education. However, I have, as yet, no specific training in special education although I have worked with young people with disabilities prior to teaching.

    If I were to apply for jobs in ASD units - would it be to my advantage or go against me to disclose my family history and/or my own suspected AS?

    My own AS manifests mostly in social anxiety and sensory integration problems (which don't affect my ability to teach)
     
  2. I am a primary school teacher with a personal interest in the autistic spectrum. ASD runs in my family and I am more than convinced I am on the spectrum myself - although unlikely to obtain a confirmed diagnosis, for reasons I am unwilling to go into here.

    I am very widely read on the subject and have had success in my practice with children who are on the spectrum in mainstream education. I'd like to move into specialist ASD education. However, I have, as yet, no specific training in special education although I have worked with young people with disabilities prior to teaching.

    If I were to apply for jobs in ASD units - would it be to my advantage or go against me to disclose my family history and/or my own suspected AS?

    My own AS manifests mostly in social anxiety and sensory integration problems (which don't affect my ability to teach)
     
  3. It's often said that we're all on the spectrum - somewhere. You could mention the family incidence, but your professional interest and experience is, I would suggest, more relevant.

    There is a diagnostic checklist that you can download from the internet to self-diagnose. I believe Baron Cohen devised it. It's quite complicated, tho' - not for the faint-hearted.
     
  4. I completely agree that we're all *somewhere* on the spectrum and I'm quite happy with who I am. I'm lucky to feel that there are certain advantages which tend to balance out my disadvantages.

    Thanks for the pointer to Baron-Cohen's test - although I am aware of it and have actually taken the test (and others I found). My results have only served to confirm my suspicions, in that I consistently score in the 'Asperger zone' in all of them!

    Any other thoughts on the matter, anyone?
     
  5. Finding primary school teachers who have AS, or suspect they have AS are like finding nuggets of gold in the school's flower garden! This is because primary school teaching isn't a career that appeals to many people with AS traits. Most teachers with AS prefer secondary schools or HE because they can focus on the subject they are passionate about.

    My own experience of teaching are that many primary school teachers think they know about AS and have read a couple of books on the subject, but have never had any involvement with people with AS and in some cases have never even met anybody with the condition.

    I work in an ordinary primary school, but it happens to be a good one for children with AS because it has several teachers who understand the condition and adapt teaching to meet their needs. The head and governors have an unofficial policy that it will be very difficult to get a teaching post in the school unless you have considerable theoretical and practical knowledge of AS.

    If a teacher applied to the school and mentioned they had AS themself, then the school would be more than happy to employ them providing they met all the other requirements for the position.

    "My own AS manifests mostly in social anxiety and sensory integration problems (which don't affect my ability to teach)"

    Make this point very clear.
     
  6. It is complete nonsense to suggest "that we're all *somewhere* on the spectrum". This shows a lack of understanding about the subject. Only a small percentage of the human population are anywhere on the autistic spectrum.

    Asperger Syndrome has specific diagnostic criteria and it should only be diagnosed by a psychiatrist with specialist knowledge in this area. Having a few characteristics that are similar to those found in people with Asperger Syndrome does not mean that you have it.

    It should be noted that AS is extremely rare in women.


     
  7. Obviously, being a mere run-of-the-mill, deluded, uninformed, woman I couldn't possibly have a clue about my own personal circumstances, or those of my family. Or, indeed, any of the diagnostic criteria or procedures.

    Tsk. Silly me. What must I have been thinking?
     
  8. I have not made any of these judgements about you, I have just pointed out an incorrect statement.

    The other things I have said are just facts about Asperger Syndrome.
     
  9. "It is complete nonsense to suggest "that we're all *somewhere* on the spectrum". This shows a lack of understanding about the subject. Only a small percentage of the human population are anywhere on the autistic spectrum. "

    Some experts have suggested that this is the case - I am not myself far enough along the spectrum to spend time googling for them :-}
     


  10. In response to Mr Job.

    "we're all *somewhere* on the spectrum"

    The above comment shows a higher level of understanding than you suggest, we can all experience, to varying degrees most if not all of the issues faced by people on the Autism Spectrum. The difference being that we don't experience quite as many or to the same level of intensity.

    I don't think the poster was trying to belittle AS difficulties, nor am i. In fact if we all shared the same view as jkshek and margot_ledbetter we might be a little closer to accepting Neuro-diversity.


    Also if you going to make statements like;

    "It should be noted that AS is extremely rare in women"

    Keep up to date as recent research(Tony Atwood) suggests this may not be the case.

    margot_ledbetter, i know that the NAS actively encourages people on the spectrum to apply for jobs with them, they have six schools in the UK.

    Anyway good luck.

     
  11. Reply to Freck.

    This is taken from the National Autistic Society website:

    "What is autism?

    Autism is a lifelong developmental disability. It is part of the autism spectrum and is sometimes referred to as an autism spectrum disorder, or an ASD. The word 'spectrum' is used because, while all people with autism share three main areas of difficulty, their condition will affect them in very different ways. Some are able to live relatively 'everyday' lives; others will require a lifetime of specialist support."

    www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=211

    In other words the 'spectrum' covers people with ASD, not the general population.


    In response to your other comment I have already seen an information sheet with details of Tony Attwood's paper on girls with Asperger Syndrome. The sheet can be found at:

    www.aspergerfoundation.org.uk/info_children.htm

    The information sheet states:

    "The overwhelming majority of referrals for a diagnostic assessment for Asperger's Syndrome are boys. The ratio of males to females is 10:1, yet the epidemiological research for Autistic Speectrum Disorders suggests that the ratio should be 4:1."

    This supports my comment "It should be noted that AS is extremely rare in women."
     
  12. Mr Job,

    When you say that AS is extremely rare in women, can you please expand upon this please?

    What about Aspergers Syndrome, did you mean Aspergers when you used the initials AS

    Does aspergers go undiagnosed more in females, because Professionals believe it to be extremely rare?

    It could be a self fulfilling prophesy
     
  13. The Asperger's Syndrome website states:

    "Asperger's Syndrome is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder that falls within the autistic spectrum. It is a life-long condition, which affects about 1 in 200 people, more commonly in men than women."

    Here is the simple maths:

    1 in 200 is the same ratio as 11 in 2200.
    i.e 11 in every 2200 people have Asperger Syndrome.

    Now combine this with the fact that "The ratio of males to females is 10:1" and we get:

    10 in 2200 males have Asperger Syndrome.
    1 in 2200 females have Asperger Syndrome.

    Hence Asperger Syndrome is rare in males but much more rare in females.

    I did mean Aspergers Syndrome when I used the initials AS.

    "Does aspergers go undiagnosed more in females, because Professionals believe it to be extremely rare?" I doubt it; consultant psychiatrists know and recognise the symptoms and will look for these whether the patient is male or female.

    Asperger Syndrome is sometimes called Geek Syndrome and said to be "an extreme of the male brain". I think this a very good observation.


     
  14. "Asperger Syndrome is sometimes called Geek Syndrome and said to be "an extreme of the male brain"."

    Does this not therefore suggest a continuum?
     
  15. AS - rarer in females, but under-diagnosed. From memory the entire ASD spectrum has a 4:1 male:female diagnosis ratio, in AS it's more like 10:1. Could be that girls are better at hiding it.

    Although I can spot autistic traits in myself and just about everyone else, the degree to which it affects daily life of just about anyone whose gone through formal diagnosis makes the comparison a bit crass to me. It's bit like saying I'm partially sighted because I wear glasses.
     
  16. The majority of AS children both in my school and at a local AS support group are boys. Girls with AS are quite rare but they do exist.

    Geek Syndrome is a term most often used by journalists and other people who have very little understanding of AS but write about it. I don't like it.
     
  17. I work at one of the NAS schools in the foundation stage department. We have 3 girls and 15 boys in that department and the ratio is similar up the school.
    However in my last job in a mainstream school we had 3 boys and 2 girls with ASDs plus one boy with Aspergers so the ratio wasn't nearly so defined.

    I like the idea that we're all somewhere on the spectrum but thats just an idea.
    However the NAS doesn't give a lot of mention to sensory issues when they talk about the triad of impairments being the indicators for a diagnosis of ASDs. In the states sensory issues come first before anything else. The UK is a little behind in that area.
     
  18. What about Aspergic teachers?
     
  19. Riv

    Riv New commenter

    Mr Job, I don’t really want to extend the argument but In post 10 you state:
    "The overwhelming majority of referrals for a diagnostic assessment for Asperger's Syndrome are boys. The ratio of males to females is 10:1, yet the epidemiological research for Autistic Spectrum Disorders suggests that the ratio should be 4:1."
    Yet in post 12 you use the 10:1 statistic, not the 4:1 statistic suggested by the epidemiological research.
    Using the 4:1 statistic,
    I in 200 is the same as 5 in 1000
    So 4 in 1000 males have Aspergers Syndrome and 1 in 1000 females. Rare, but not extremely rare.
     
  20. ASDs are much more difficult to diagnose in the female population, for many reasons. Getting a diagnosis as an adult is very difficult, particularly for women.
    Back to the OP - I work in specialist ASD provision and the best thing you can do is sell your understanding and awareness of how ASDs impact on learning, strategies that are used to support learning and how you can adapt your mainstream expertise to be able to teach children on the spectrum. Your mainstream experience is relevant and important and you shouldn't downplay this on any job application. If you are able to then doing supply in special schools is always a good way in - plus it shows you are willing and keen.
     

Share This Page