Talisman Programs Finds that a Change in School Environment Can Bring About Improved Social and Academic Performance for Teens with Asperger's Syndrome

Share Article

Children and adolescents with Asperger's Syndrome often achieve greater social and academic success when they spend a semester or more at a specialized school for students with special needs.

It's better to take one or more semesters away at a school tailored to students with Asperger's than to allow a situation to spiral downward through the remainder of the school year.

As winter break approaches, parents of children with Asperger's Syndrome have high hopes that the new year will bring all of the things that were missing from their children's lives last year: an active social life, good grades, a sense of belonging and an eagerness to learn.

But the experts at Talisman Programs, a network of summer camps and school programs for children and teens with learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD), Asperger's Syndrome and high-functioning autism, have found that spring semester often brings the same frustrations and struggles as the fall semester. In many cases, a change of school environment is what is needed for teens to establish healthier patterns and greater social and academic success.

"Children with Asperger's who are already discouraged after the fall semester - refusing to go to school and struggling so much socially that they aren't advancing academically - are not likely to make a turn in the spring," said Linda Tatsapaugh, MS, the executive director of Talisman Programs. "If the child is following the same routine with the same classmates, it is likely that the only thing that will change is the year on the calendar."

The holidays are a difficult time for parents to enroll their child in a special needs boarding school, but there are a number of benefits to making a change at this time of year. For teens on the brink of academic failure, attending a specialized school for Asperger's mid-year gives them the time and space they need to redeem themselves for the next school year. In small classes with plenty of individualized attention, students aren't at risk of falling through the cracks or failing to get their needs met.

"When students with Asperger's receive appropriate support and guidance, they feel less anxious and are able to re-engage in the learning process," explained Tatsapaugh. "As a result, they gain confidence in their academic abilities and make significant progress in their social lives."

Southeast Journeys - Talisman's school for middle and high school students with Asperger's Syndrome - is flexible, admitting students for only one semester to get them back on track for the following school year, or multiple semesters, with each semester building on the skills developed during prior semesters.

According to Tatsapaugh, "It's better to take one or more semesters away at a school tailored to students with Asperger's than to allow a situation to spiral downward through the remainder of the school year."

Transitions can be a challenge for teens with Asperger's Syndrome, but specialized schools like Southeast Journeys are accustomed to managing transitions and helping students thrive in a new environment.

After the initial adjustment period, the staff at Talisman has found that most teens breathe a sigh of relief when given a chance to start over. They are surrounded by students who are like them and who share the same needs, such as small classroom sizes, extra one-on-one guidance and manageable homework assignments, and feel comfortable just being themselves.

Talisman Programs offers summer camps for children with learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome and high-functioning autism, as well as Southeast Journeys, a school program for middle and high school students with Asperger's. With a highly structured daily schedule, a small staff-to-student ratio, in-depth social and life skills training, and plenty of fun and adventure, Talisman Programs have been a first choice of families since 1980. For more information about Talisman Programs, visit http://www.talismancamps.com or call (888) 458-8226.

Talisman Programs is a proud member of CRC Health Group, which offers the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral healthcare services in the nation. With the largest array of personalized treatment options, individuals, families and professionals can choose the most appropriate setting for their behavioral, addiction, weight management and therapeutic education needs. CRC Health Group is deeply committed to making its services widely and easily available to those in need, while maintaining a passion for delivering the most advanced treatment available. For more information about CRC Health Group, visit http://www.crchealth.com or call (877) 637-6237.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Linda Tatsapaugh

Visit website