Getting up in front of a live television camera is difficult and scary for many people, which is what makes the reporters at Worrall Elementary School that much more impressive. Each kid who reports for Action 7 News, the school's yearly half-hour news broadcast, has Asperger's syndrome; a high-level form of autism. Children with Asperger's often have trouble with social cues like facial expressions, gestures, and working well with others.
Teachers at the school claim that preparing for a news program helps the kids address many of these troubles, and give their students the ability to see the world from another angle. Journalism teaches the kids how to enunciate properly, slow down their speech, read and react to other people and have confidence in themselves.
The rest of the school gathers to watch when the Action 7 News is on, and the program has given the reporters have gained a little fame of their own. For kids who are sometimes left out by the crowd, this opportunity gives them the chance to belong.
"One year I was over at the middle school. And there was a huge, huge difference with the kids who had been through the program socially, not just with their confidence but with their social skills overall as a whole." - Randi Rentz, Asperger's specialist.
1. What is Asperger's syndrome?
2. What are "social skills"?
3. What do you do when you have trouble communicating with someone?
1. What did this video show you about kids with Asperger's syndrome?
2. How did journalism help them?
3. What other valuable skills might journalism teach kids?