Asperger's Among Asian Kids?


So my wife works for a high school in an ethnoburb here in the Bay Area. This ethnoburb has a high number of upper middle class Chinese Americans. Whereas Cantonese is the predominant Chinese dialect in San Francisco, Mandarin is a major dialect in this ethnoburb.

She related that the student population of her high school is predominantly Asian, but the teachers and counselors are predominantly white. Although the staff generally have good intentions, they often times don't consider certain cultural factors when instructing or counseling the Asian students.

One thing that the counselors often do is to apply labels to the students, like depression or Asperger's Syndrome. They tend to interpret the unresponsiveness and the poker face of Asian students in these ways.

My wife believes that most of the time, the Asian immigrant students are simply behaving the way they normally do under the presence of an authority figure. One does not express his or her opinions to a teacher or counselor. Opinions and feelings are only shared with peers. If anything, the Asian immigrant students expect guidance and direction from their teachers and counselors.

Although the vast majority of the interactions could be considered cultural miscommunications, there are a few Asian students who exhibit behaviors indicative of Asperger's or depression.

Seek and ye shall find. If you're trained to look for only certain things, then you will invariably find them and nothing else.
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