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I found this to be a very interesting discussion. For a few summers, I worked at a summer camp. Over the summers I spent there, I worked with a few campers who have Aspergers. In my experience, these campers had very differing levels of the disorder and from that had varying needs as well. As with any child, I believe that each one is unique and has specific needs. So, though I understand that eliminating the term Aspergers and classifying instead on an Autism spectrum may make sense in the medical world, it seems to me that this will worsen the problem of labeling and classifying people in every day life and result in less specialized attention.
If the mother's of the campers had told me their sons had Autism, I would have expected their children to behave in ways that I have been raised to associate to Autism, which are the more extreme cases in the spectrum.
By keeping the classification of Aspergers, I think it is easier for non-medical people to understand. I am sure that the term Aspergers in itself creates generalizations that people with the diagnosis already have to combat. With the way Autism is looked at by the general, non-medical public, these generalizations are even more intense.
I was able to provide the attention or care that each of the campers needed specifically because the mothers could use terminology that in general language described more specifically the campers disorder. That is not to say that Aspergers can define these campers either. Like I said, every child is different, but the term Aspergers is a starting point and learning about each campers specific needs goes from there once the parameters are set.
posted 3 years, 3 months ago
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