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Featured Aspergers vs. very high IQ vs. the school system.

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Thor Jensen, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Thor Jensen

    Thor Jensen New Member

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    Hello everybody,
    My son(12 years old) was diagnosed with Aspergers recently.
    He has also taken an IQ test(Wechsler) and scored 152 (highest possible is 160, which nobody gets). Also among the highest in aptitude tests in the country.
    In short he scored in the 99.99% percentile rank in the IQ test and the aptitude test. He is also in music school were he excels, and is very good in computer programming which is a hobby. Loves astronomy and has taken a course on university level etc etc.
    On top of that he is kind of lazy...

    In short the school system is making me crasy, in how they deal with him.
    We live in Scandinavia.

    It is extremely difficult to make the teachers, educational people in the "system" understand his needs. Its like they dont want to make the right solutions because of agendas or some "higher" policy.

    And how some teachers have talked down to him, when at the same time he is much more clever on the subject than they are and much more articulate.
    He defenitely has some asynchronous development, but that is to be expected in his case.
    It brings up a lot of challenges this situation. He is not arrogant, or obnoxious, nor are we the parents, overzelous in any way. His biggest problem have been angry outburst, mostly in school where he tears up exams or assignment. It wasnt like that before. Part of that is of course perfectionism that he has developed.

    And now he doesn´t want to go to school, basically from extreme boredom, and he has not fitted in for the last 2-3 years in school. Also the school expelled him twice from his behavior. One time he tore up some small book(not in front of anybody), also because he ruined some poster on the wall.
    That expulsion (11 years old) just made him resent school, which at the time, although totally bored, had great respect for.
    He is getting depressed and the situation is getting out of hand.
    He doesn´t show any signs of autism in some categories. Mostly in, how he has difficulties expressing his feelings, and he can also be socially awkard. Those traits have gotten worse for the last 2-3 years. Go figure!

    I really dont know what to do.
    Do we tackle the situation on his supposed Aspergers, or his "giftedness"?. Or does it matter anyway?
    We have told him the diagnosis, but are not sure if its right to dwell on that.
    I have no prejudice against autism, but put in the context, I am not sure that approach will do him any good!
    Isn´t also possible that the diagnosis could just be totallly wrong? Or am I delusional.. ;-)
     
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  2. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Rambunctious Rambler V.I.P Member

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    It can be hard to get autistic children to focus on school, I was much the same, I didn't want to do homework and in my teen years I didn't try hard enough in some subjects, my English teacher described me as "if he was any more laid back he'd fall off his chair". Having problems with anger can also be quite common in our group.

    I think if he struggles to fit in, has problems with controlling and expressing emotions and is exceptionally bright he makes a prime suspect for being on the autism spectrum.

    One thing that springs to mind which may help him excel is being in a school dedicated to children on the autism spectrum. A place that truly understands him and his behaviours and a place that can challenge his emotional response to stimuli instead of suspending him which will do nothing for a child like him. I don't know what the ways are about getting him into special education in your country, if it's Finland you're located in then maybe you've got a really good chance since Finland apparently is really good at schools if I've heard correctly. Have a hunt around your area for any schools which he might fit into.
     
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  3. Thor Jensen

    Thor Jensen New Member

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    Hi Southern Discomfort,
    Thanks a lot for the response.
    The problem with the school policiy here is that the schools are all pretty much the same, and the policy is that everybody, no matter their needs, should be in regular school. That means in practise that almost nobody gets what they need!
    I am not in Finland. I have heard that their schools are pretty high standard. Unfortunately the schools here are not that good, partly because there is this conformity, and resources are wasted.

    Very insightful.
    Those are some complex issues, guess it is ongoing subject to understand it ;-)
     
  4. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Missionary Cybernaut

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    Hook up with your country's branch of Mensa. They may have suggestions for how to augment your son's education (if they can't make any changes within his school).
     
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  5. zurb

    zurb Eschewer of Obfuscation

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    This is one of the reasons I believe in homeschooling, especially for Aspies. Though I know in some European countries it's illegal.
     
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  6. artfull dodger

    artfull dodger Well-Known Member

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    I also scored very high in my grade school IQ tests, I wanna say about the same as the OP's child. But I did very poorly in many subjects, espically if I had not interest in the subject. I am very poor at math, even simple math I cannot do in my head. But I am very very good at reading comprehension and mechanical things like repairing model trains or other small motors, ie lawn mowers. I was beat up/bullied on a daily basis all thru my middle and high school years and this also helped bring down my grades. Switching to a private, church run school for my last 2 years of high school helped me. I really enjoyed those last 2 years of school, even with my struggles in subjects like match and some science classes. When I went back to college in my late 30's early 40's, I had gotten my diagnosis before having to deal with my math class. So the instructor helped me one on one to get thru the required math classes, and my speech class instructor also gave me lee way in class due to the Asperger's. In fact, one of my speeches was about what I had learned about my disablity and how it affected my life. When I was in school, AS wasn't even a diagnosis yet, so most of my struggles went unnoticed or swept under the rug. I would work with your childs strengths, those will be what he can use as a profession as an adult. My ablity to fix and repair lawn mowers and other small items like model trains has become my profession and hobby as an adult. Anything else I have done as a job has not worked out for me. Mike
     
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  7. Adder1234

    Adder1234 Active Member

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    I've had the same problem with my schooling, but it hasn't been so bad over the last few years because my family moved and the new school, although its really small, is great. The teachers always go out of their way to help students that are willing to put effort into their work and most of the other students get along really well. I think this is because of the small size of the school, it means that the school is very community based.

    My other method of making myself try hard at school is to remind myself that if I do well at school, then I will be able to do far more than any of my teachers or anyone else who doubted me ever did. In other words, I'm doing well purely to spite people. It might seem childish but it's always managed to keep me going.
     
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  8. nakedphil

    nakedphil Well-Known Member

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    My other method of making myself try hard at school is to remind myself that if I do well at school, then I will be able to do far more than any of my teachers or anyone else who doubted me ever did. In other words, I'm doing well purely to spite people. It might seem childish but it's always managed to keep me going.[/QUOTE]

    "you are not capable enough to do that" is seen as a challenge just to prove them wrong. Worked and still works many times.
     
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  9. Gary Reese

    Gary Reese Active Member

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    I have been where he is now. First thing they did was hook me up with a psychologist. First thing the psychologist told me was out of 10 like me, 2 would take their own life before age 21. I'm 69 now. He should expect issues to come up. Knowing this is the best armament against serious problems.

    The school had no programs for me at that time. They just kind of stayed out of my way.

    For him the world moves in slow motion. He needs to accept this. Home school if at all possible. It's not a matter of teaching, it's directing him in what he chooses to study.

    The issues you describe with the school are no less than abuse. Were you in the USA, I might take a "personal interest" in your case. I''d be checking out your legal rights if I were you.

    You are not delusional, it is exactly as you see it. I too question the Asperger's conclusion. Being different is NOT a defect!

    This is a bit fragmented as I'm a little angry. Wish I could be there. They wouldn't like me very much. :)

    GaryR
     
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  10. jayraytee

    jayraytee Well-Known Member

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    I was bored in school. School for someone on the spectrum is like forcing a square peg in a round hole. They do their best to treat everyone the same.

    The biggest issue I think with someone on the spectrum in school is that they are (and I was) intelligent but still immature. I was bored with having to solve the same problems over and over, so at first I just quickly filled in my homework before I left school for the day. Later I just stopped doing homework. It seemed futile to me, I didn't want to keep jumping through the same hoops over and over. Waste of time and energy.

    School is forcing me to keep learning lessons I already know... and forcing some other kids to learn lessons they won't retain. The school is really focused on the middle of the bell curve.. lessons for kids that don't know but can retain. When you fall into one of the other two groups school seems frustrating and seems to be a waste of time (to an immature mind.)

    I've always said I learned more after getting out of school than I ever did in there. And I wish I could get those years back. But, I know that in today's culture the proof of an education is important to employers. If I was as mature back then as I am now, I would of jumped through the hoops, focused my energy on extra curricular activities and learning, taken college courses early, etc.

    The maturity level is the issue.
     
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  11. Thor Jensen

    Thor Jensen New Member

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    Thanks a lot everybody for your comments. They sound intelligent.
    Also interesting life stories, and quite variable.
    We are beginning to use some private tutors, but they are expensive, and maybe not accepted by the school. He has already skipped a grade, and that was really hard to get thru. I think thats the only solution. I think he just can´t function in a school environment from 8-14:30 every day of the week! Not going to happen!


    GaryR, What you say is so similar to what I am going thru right now. Thanks for the support. You are just the person I need right now ;-)
    Unfortunately, in my country we have very poor options for either an able student like he is or students with aspergers.
    In my country we have in the law that "everybody has the right to be educated according to their individual needs". Those words are just BS. It doesn´t mean anything. Rather it takes away the duty of the school to educate, and the "right" to put everybody in the same box.
    I think generally the education system here is kind of immature or underdeveloped in some ways.

    Also I am a bit afraid of labeling him because the knowledge about autism is so little here. So its like everything that goes wrong is explained by "the little autistic person". Than its like a scapegoat for the system to do nothing, because they are generally very good at doing nothing. A lot of diagnosis, but than no help, guidelines, or whatever. Just bizzare!

    Also in my country we have the world record for the use of psyciatric medication. Its like everybody is just doing nothing and waiting for the situation to go out of hand and voila!! Its just easier to do it that way, and again we are very good at this. Not saying that medication is bad per se, just the approach.

    Jayraytee,
    Yes the maturity is very important in this context, and what you say sounds very similar to my son. Also he is very stubborn, and that doesn´t help. He didnt want to admit that the school was a problem(in the way it was too easy), because that was like "losing" in his mind. There comes the maturity in.

    p.s. Isn´t aspergers on a continuum and there is really no certain point were you become "neurotypical"?
     
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  12. Cimbreo

    Cimbreo The Examiner

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    Some view from a center European.


    School seemed like a huggle between me being bored and time spent among people in my age. Even tho I was struggling to be social I eagerly looked forward to be around. Anyway, school was boring and studying was painful as I knew it all, already. Passing each year to the next class was more and more of a challenge as I really couldn't get over the feeling that I was wasting my time.

    Now, with the perspective of living the adulthood life I see that somehow. The school was beneficial. Interacting with people and learning your place in the socially is important. Dont cut out your kid out of it. He will miss it.
    you
    On the intellectual level. There ARE kids around somehow close enough to keep the pace and inspire to evolve. Just be open minded and dont struck people over. All the best.

    Ah yes, dont be afraid to let your kid to have older friends. They might not be as gifted as he is but they are experienced more. Which is great to discover for a kid from someone else than the parent or someone common. The best moments come from the unknown. My own experience.
     
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  13. jayraytee

    jayraytee Well-Known Member

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    It is a continuum, when I was diagnosed the first expert I went to beleived with therapy it could be 'cured' and the second one I went to believed as I do that you are wired differently. Much like a person without an arm can learn to function 'normally' in that they can do all the things everyone else does, but you still do those things differently. For me, the trick is finding ways that work for me.

    I actually left public school and started the home school thing after 6th grade. For once I actually enjoyed school. I could work at my pace instead of the pace of every other kid. I didn't have the added stresses of social things that for other people is inate, but for me was hugely difficult and irritating.

    I even suffer from migraines when I am in a lot of social situations, I need alone time to unwind and study. In public school, all through gradeschool I had migraines because there was no place to get away and release frustration.

    I work on myself, expand my comfort zone constantly. At work I have volunteered to run meetings and things because I didn't want to. I made myself do it. But I stretch at my pace.
     
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  14. cory

    cory Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Are there any alternative schools where you live? By that I mean in the states "gifted" or "arts" schools are availiable to anyone who fulfills some required testing. I went to a gifted middle school and the arts program was at the same school. I got to interact with a lot of people who I would only see sporadically at a regular school. Even more than the acceleration academically, which should catch his attention, interaction with people who share some similarity can be extremely helpful. It can be isolating being in the situation you son is in.
     
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  15. Xenocity

    Xenocity Too WEIRD for the Weird...

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    The school system in practically every developed country was structured to fuel the industrial economy and factories.

    No developed country has successfully modernized their education system to be freed of the industrial era.

    It doesn't help that governments push for conformity and unity via the school system.

    If you're smart you will be held back by the school system in your country.

    Those who can conform easily will do the best in school.

    Half of schooling is social development based on enforced norms.

    So don't take it too hard if you and your children are being driven crazy by it.
     
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  16. Nitro

    Nitro Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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  17. ADCguy

    ADCguy New Member

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    School is the reason i became as dumb as i am, i used to learn several levels ahead of my class/year even with the discrimination from kids and teachers. But after a while it took its toll and started negatively reinforcing learning. Everytime i did something different id have someone shout at me (ussually a teacher). When my reading skills slowed down (because of their shouting) i got shouted at for not being good enough. When i did maths using ancient japanese methods rather than todays "standard" i got shouting at, i even had teachers throw my things in the bin and made me fish it out later. This is why since primary school i have been nothing more than "average". If you dont like the wsy thry are treating your son, fix it or pull him out quickly before he ends up like me, with no interests , hobbies or obsessions
     
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  18. paloftoon

    paloftoon Well-Known Member

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    I was able to hyper focus on school surprisingly. It was also my escape from bullies, and my IQ is only above average rather than extraordinary.

    For your son, you might want to do cyber school. They can cater more to his needs and have quality education available at his fingertips.
     
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  19. Bolletje

    Bolletje Well-Known Member

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    I've had a few of the same problems in school. I didn't have to work too hard for most subjects, so I never got the self-discipline to study. In elementary school my teachers recognized that I was bored in class, so instead of taking the normal mandatory language classes I could take English classes and spend time by myself in the library reading books.

    Sadly in high school there was a lot less understanding. My teachers thought I was lazy and unmotivated (which, to be honest, I was) but I didn't qualify for any of the special programs for highly intelligent students because my grades weren't high enough. This was because of the same problem I've seen a lot of my fellow Aspies talk about: I can't motivate myself to study a subject I have no interest in.
    Near the end of every school year I studied just hard enough to be able to make it to the next grade, but that was about it. My teachers would either yell at me for being lazy, or for being obstinate and solving math problems with formulas I came up with myself instead of the formulas they taught us (didn't matter to them that my answers were correct). The principal told my parents each year that I just wasn't smart enough and I'd be better off going to a different school.

    What helped me finish high school was that I had a goal in mind for afterwards. I wanted to become a doctor, and I knew I needed my grades to be as high as possible to maximize my chances of getting enrolled. While this still wasn't enough to get me to do my homework every day, at least I studied hard enough for my tests because the tests were no longer my goal, just the means to an end.
     
  20. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Missionary Cybernaut

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    Learning the prescribed method was more important than just getting the right answers. The basic method is what works generally.* Discovered short-cuts may work in the short term, but not necessarily in real-life examples of that kind of problem.

    *Later math builds on that.
     
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