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"Model Classroom" for Students with Asperger's

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My "neurodiversity" blog post from last week feeds nicely into this Washington Post article about a local school district that has created what some have called "model" classrooms for students on the less-severe end of the autism spectrum.

The program, with two teachers and four aides serving 15 children, focuses on two goals: teaching students to recognize and cope with manifestations of their disorder, such as a panic attack in the gymnasium or uncontrollable restlessness in math class; and easing them into regular classes to the greatest extent appropriate, a process called mainstreaming, which drives special education across the country.

The Asperger's program began seven years ago, part of an expanding suite of services for an autism population that tops 1,000 students in the 137,000-student system and is growing by 17 percent a year.

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Anyone wanting to learn more about autism spectrum disorders should feel free to download the free audio podcasts put out by Midnight In Chicago at www.mic.mypodcast.com

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