Asperger's Program coordinator explains Asperger's - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Asperger's Program coordinator explains Asperger's

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Monica Ryan-Rausch heads up the Asperger's Program at the Four Oaks campus in Cedar Rapids. It's an after-school program serving middle and high school-age kids with Asperger's Syndrome.

"They have social development, but there are delays or challenges in their social skills," Ryan-Rausch explained. In her experience, people with Asperger's are very intelligent, but tend to have problems in new social situations.

"These young people that I work with may walk into a fairly new social situation and will panic, because they're not quite sure what to do, or what's expected of them," she explained. She said if a family learns that they have a child with Asperger's, it's up to them to find local programs that will help acclimate that child to his or her surroundings.

"If they need more community involvement, perhaps join an art program," Ryan-Rausch suggested. "Lots of times parents will make the decision to get their child more involved with activities that are special-interest."

Asperger's may be lifelong, but Ryan-Rausch said it's not life-ending. With the right program involvement and interaction, she knows people with the condition can find a place in their community.

"We want them to be a part of the workforce. They have amazing talents and gifts. They're bright young people, but it's the social skills that most likely would interfere with their success in a workplace."

Click here for more on the Four Oaks Asperger's program.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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