Spoke with the boy’s homeroom teacher today, Y attending and translating.
He described the boy’s behavior exactly as I had:
- an elevated estimation of his own abilities and the need to talk about them
- can only see his own perspective
- unpopular with the other students
- can not comprehend some instructions
- obsession with entering student competitions, even when possessing no qualifications
- saying thoughtless things without understanding or remorse.
The other teachers have also had problems with the boy. Past attempts to convince the parents met resistance, because the parents refuse to acknowledge he has a problem and because the private counseling referral is too expensive, and they are poor. (the boy doesn’t own a cell phone, and in Korea that is practically unheard of) I believe this referral was to counsel what they thought were behavioral problems, but nobody recognized that this could be Aspberger’s syndrome or a real learning disability. Sadly, the boy is subject to beatings at home. I’m sure it is because he is so frustrating to deal with, and everyone thinks he is being difficult, when actually he just is literally clueless about society and can’t make the connections necessary because he truly doesn’t think he has a problem.
I told Y this is correctable with proper therapy. Y was a little upset, because it didn’t seem like his home-room teacher was willing to put further effort into helping the boy, and his homeroom teacher also relayed how the boy seems increasingly frustrated and resentful. She contacted silly steps to see what he thought, since he is a counselor at a middle school, and he gave her the number for a private counselor here so the boy could get tested. But again, that would come out of the parent’s pockets, since the Korean health system does not cover psychological services. We also don’t know if this counselor has any experience with Aspberger’s syndrome. He informed us that all the Korean schools were supposed to get counselors next year, so I can only hope that the boy gets some services before he graduates. I only wish his obsession was not about winning a contest. and something more marketable like accounting or science. Otherwise, he might have a very unsatisfactory future ahead of himself.
And now, I have to adapt my lesson plan so he can have a small moment in the sun and try and show him that others can be interesting. Perhaps I will turn him into a reporter and have him interview the others. Hopefully, the others in the class will be patient with him, if he shows up now that he knows I will not be playing games, giving out candy, and making him the focus of the spotlight.