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1 year ago

Asperger Syndrome and School Bullying

Asperger syndrome is a neurological condition on the autistic spectrum that affects a childs ability to effectively socialize, conform to trends, and recognize the facial expressions and moods of others. Bullies target students diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (AS) at a rate that is at least four times higher than their peers, with the top reported maltreatment being shunning, and one in ten AS teenagers are likely to experience a peer gang attack [1].

Why Children with AS are Targets for School Bullies

Kids with Asperger syndrome are targets for bullying in the classroom for many reasons. Clearly the awkward social skills and lack of self-confidence play a huge role, but there are many other issues that attract the attention of bullies, such as the tendency for children with AS to be isolated, to willingly give up their rights and possessions without a contest, and to be easily fooled into thinking that a bully is their friend.

In adolescence, kids with Asperger syndrome may not follow the trends and styles of their peers. Clothing, hairstyles, and intense unique interests that are not typical of other kids their age are all magnets that can attract teasing.

Signs of Teasing and Bullying in Kids with Asperger Syndrome

Kids with Asperger syndrome may not even realize they are being maltreated, especially if it is subtle in nature. Furthermore, children with AS wont always report bullying to teachers or parents even if they know it is happening. Therefore it is important to recognize the signs of teasing and bullying so that it can be eliminated. Here are some common signs of bullying to look for:

Missing or broken possessionsTorn clothing or clothing and other items that have been scribbled onFrequent cuts and bruisesIncreased anxietySchool refusal, cutting classesComplaints of digestive upset or headachesSleep deprivationDepressionMorbid or suicidal thoughtsPersonality change, modeling bullying behavior at homeMain Strategies to Prevent Bullying of Students with AS

How can a teacher help the student with AS and deter teasing and bullying in the classroom? There are many effective strategies that can have a lasting positive outcome for children with Asperger syndrome. Try these ideas to address classroom bullying:

Be clear that bullying and maltreatment of others will not be tolerated in the classroom.Educate all students about autism and Asperger syndrome.Assign a classroom buddy with strong social skills to the child with AS.Teach AS child to be more assertive with others, and to communicate needs and rights.Help child with AS to report bullying and seek safety in groups.Assemble a team that includes a school counselor, recess and lunch monitors, and parents to watch over and work with the student with Asperger syndrome.Enact role-playing techniques to discourage teasing, and have kids invent their own positive ways of dealing with bullies.Students who have Asperger syndrome are at a disadvantage when it comes to socializing and fitting in with their peers. As children get older, bullying and teasing may become even more sinister. Early intervention and vigilant anti-bullying instruction will be of vital importance. Using strategies that combine assertiveness training for children with Asperger syndrome, with empathy and understanding for fellow classmates will help teachers stop the bullying/teasing of students with AS in school.

See these articles for more information about social skills training and autism/Asperger syndrome in the classroom:

Classroom Social Skills Training for Autism Raising Autism Awareness in the Classroom Meltdowns in Students with Asperger SyndromeSources:

1. Attwood, Tony, The Complete Guide to Aspergers Syndrome. Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007.

2. Cooley, Myles L., Teaching Kids withketamine treatment for depression & Learning Disorders in the Regular Classroom. MN: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., 2007.

1 year ago

Foods That Help Fight Depression According to several studies more than 15 million people annually in the U.S are showing symptoms of depression. This mental illness affects people irrespective of sex, age, origin and economic status. In other words, depression is a mental state in which the sadness prevents people from doing everyday activities. It is a disorder experienced by the entire body and affects the mood, the thoughts, and the overall health of an individual. In fact, it affects the way someone feels about himself and about those around him, and can even affect our everyday needs like food and sleep.

Depending on the severity and symptoms, depression can be classified into three types: unipolar, which is the most common type, dysthymia - a chronic type and bipolar disorder, which consist of periods of depression, as well as periods of increased energy and good mood.

There are many possible causes of this condition: loneliness, financial problems, a stressful lifestyle, family problems, the death of a loved one, heredity, chronic pain or health problems such as diabetes, alcohol or drug abuse, and early childhood trauma are some of the reasons that can trigger this disorder. Apart from these factors, it has been found that our diet can also affect our mood. For example, the lack of vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12, in addition to the absence of biotin, folic acid and pantothenic acid from our diet can also lead to treatment for unipolar depression. Carbohydrates can relieve the symptoms of mild depression by increasing serotonin levels, which is the same way that most antidepressants work.

To fight feelings of sadness you should also consume omega 3-fatty acids contained in oily fish, tuna, salmon and flaxseed. Many studies have linked the Japanese diet with low levels of depression. This diet includes 15 times more omega 3-fatty acids compared to the consumption of western Europe and the U.S.

What is more, you need to keep in mind that while it is good to maintain low levels of fat in our diet, it is not a good idea to avoid it completely. Diets with less than 25% of fat may be harmful to people suffering from this condition, because it reduces the production of serotonin.

Foods that help fight depression:

* Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (like fish)

* Spinach and Beans

* Cabbage

* Broccoli and cauliflower

* Black rice

* Muesli

* Fruits rich in antioxidants

Additionally, it is highly recommended to restrict the consumption of foods like white bread, rice, soda, chips, cookies and candies.

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1 year ago

Social Anxiety Disorder -