Teen Girls and Aspergers Syndrome: Boarding Schools Offer Solutions
Asperger's Syndrome is a mild form of autism that affects people's ability to read and respond to social cues. Teenage girls with Asperger's Syndrome are typically very bright, but may struggle with the following:
- Reading social cues
- Social awkwardness
- Excessive talking
- Obsessive interests in one or two subjects
These issues may cause girls with Asperger's to lose self-confidence, fall behind in school and act out. The inability to fit in with their peers can also lead to anxiety and depression, especially for pre-teens and teenage girls who tend to care deeply about the opinions and acceptance of other teens.
Girls vs. Boys
Like ADHD, the symptoms of Asperger's are different in girls and boys, leading to a possible under-diagnosis of girls. Symptoms may be milder in girls, which makes them easier to overlook. But the emotional impact is the same, and treatment can help teens with Asperger's fine-tune their social skills.
Treating Asperger's Syndrome
The earlier a teen girl is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, the better her chances of learning the strategies she needs to cope with social challenges and succeed in school. Treatment for Asperger's can include:
- Social skills groups
- Occupational therapy
- All-girls therapeutic boarding schools
- Asperger's summer camps
- Private school for Asperger's
Some of the benefits of all-girls boarding schools for teens with Asperger's include:
- Academic Support - Girls with Asperger's tend to focus intently on the limited areas that interest them, sometimes ignoring other important subjects. At Asperger's boarding schools, individualized academic plans appeal to each girl's unique learning style, while teachers who specialize in Asperger's ignite a passion for learning about a variety of subjects.
- Social Skills Practice - For teens, with social success come academic and personal success. Asperger's boarding schools emphasize social skills education and practice, often utilizing cutting-edge technologies and therapies designed specifically for teens with Asperger's. In a small-group environment, girls are able to practice their social skills without worrying about jeopardizing their place in the social hierarchy.
- Positive Peer Environment - The home-like atmosphere, small class sizes and group therapy sessions at private Asperger's schools contribute to a positive peer environment. Girls who experienced social isolation, bullying and rejection in traditional schools find themselves making friends and feeling like they belong at Asperger's boarding schools. Surrounded by girls struggling with similar issues, students are closely supervised and given immediate feedback and guidance on their interactions with others.
- Individualized Treatment - Girls with Asperger's have unique struggles, including sensory difficulties and social deficiencies, which may require individualized attention from professionals who specialize in treating Asperger's Syndrome. Through repetition and practice in a safe, structured and predictable environment, girls with Asperger's can learn to manage their symptoms and grow into healthy, happy adults.