Asperger syndrome and GCSE psychology and sociology Watch

Arran90
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At a home education meeting a question was raised whether secondary school age students with Asperger syndrome are likely to benefit socially from taking psychology and sociology for GCSE in terms of knowledge from these subjects.

I'm well aware that psychology and sociology are regarded as soft or minor GCSE subjects, but the question centres on the knowledge obtained from them as opposed to the qualification itself or the grade achieved.

Has anybody with AS ever taken these GCSEs? If so, then what do you think of them? Did they benefit you socially?
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LuigiMario
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My only worry is that an 'A'-level is so precious, as you only get to study about three of them, so maybe allocate that space to something more useful? Many of my friends are doing various Baccalaureates, with their ten to thirteen subjects, even then, they rarely offer Psychology or Sociology. I'd personally say that Philosophy would be a much better 'A' level than psych, as it is a critical thinking and exploration course - really useful for many other applications and eventual degrees.

Talking to one lecturer recently for a degree in Digital Media, they highly praised Philosophy as being one of the best subjects to complement the technology side of that study.

If you are 'lucky' enough to potentially have an AS super-power, such as Hyper-Focus, discovered yet or not, I don't think a couple of years of 'A'-level lite psychology is enough to explain the whole AS vs neurotypical world, I think a degree in Psychology would be a great step towards that - but remarkably, degree courses for Psychology do NOT require Psychology 'A'-level, and I think that gives a big clue.

Socially, yes, looking at how to integrate socially - hmmm, tricky, you see some AS people with their super-powers are completely happy to send one message per year to some friends, and consider that a fulfilling social connection, whilst some NT's require a message every few seconds in order to feel socially integrated. Which is best?

If someone with AS or suspected AS does well at school, gets a nice degree that leads to employability, gets a nice job, then there's a very high likelyhood that they will also have 2.4 children, a partner and a cat, in my experience.

Yes, everything is complicated. You ask a good question. I don't think you can push 'socially' on to an AS, especially as 'socially' can mean 'NT levels of Socially', possibly an 'A'-level in Psych would just allow faster emulation?

Oh, last point, are you aware of the most famous lady with AS who did a psychology degree. She changed the world, I do not lightly mention super powers!

https://www.ted.com/talks/temple_gra...ds?language=en
Last edited by LuigiMario; 10 months ago
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Arran90
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(Original post by LuigiMario)
My only worry is that an 'A'-level is so precious, as you only get to study about three of them, so maybe allocate that space to something more useful? Many of my friends are doing various Baccalaureates, with their ten to thirteen subjects, even then, they rarely offer Psychology or Sociology. I'd personally say that Philosophy would be a much better 'A' level than psych, as it is a critical thinking and exploration course - really useful for many other applications and eventual degrees.
The OP refers to psychology and sociology at GCSE, not A Level.
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LuigiMario
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(Original post by Arran90)
The OP refers to psychology and sociology at GCSE, not A Level.
Oops! I still prefer the Baccalauréat, which is limited to about thirteen subjects at age 15 exams.

However GCSE is already starting to specialise, by age 15 in the UK, and quite a few AS will be amazing in Art, quite a few in Maths, Science, Chem, Bio, Geo, quite a few in English & Eng Lit

Many AS that I have met already know at 15 the broad area of where they wish to go, though there is obviously fine-tuning as they get closer to the varied deadlines and the actual application. Some remain lost even up to the UCAs deadline, but that goes especially for NT's too.

I can't quite see the need for psychology and sociology at GCSE, it doesn't matter that they are "weak", as that means that the pupils might get a great mark, seeing a few headline A's/9's/8's is very good for morale. provided it fits into the arc of eventual subjects that they might wish to specialise in at 'A'-level, and first inklings of which area of degree they might wish to choose.

if you have responsibility for children who are, or are suspected of being autism spectrum including aspergers spectrum, then they should start to be fully informed of how their abilities can be different, might be perceived as different by the general population. They should be informed of mitigating strategies, safety aspects of their potential condition, and tricks and tips that might help them.

looking at one AQA GCSE syllabus in overview
https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/psyc...-and-behaviour
there does not appear to be anything specifically "usefully socially" to be obtained from this sort of vague course. I would find it interesting, but I should hope that even without the three years process of observation and diagnosis that some AS children face, that they should be formally or informally educated specifically on the AS state of the art situation, and how it might relate to them personally. Not general subjects, unless it is just for getting Govian Points, under the new schemes.

I can see that I haven't mentioned "funding", which will pobably impede from doing that which should be done.
There is a debate about whether the increase in AS students (quoting one secondary teacher last week "all the students are special nowadays") is due to environmental aspects (nano-pollutants from diesel fumes, accidentally biomimetic hormonal systems from eg fairy liquid (estrogenic nature of common household chemicals)) or due to the fact that with HFA nerds actually marrying, due to good tech jobs, the 1% is now probably increasing.

I think we should try and get a joined-up policy, and best practise!

So summing up, psych & sociology probably will do no harm
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