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Emily Buff

Survey of Exceptional Children

Dr. Amelia Spencer

1 October 2014

Aspergers Syndrome

Autism spectrum disorder covers a multitude of developmental delays with many levels

of functionality. Those diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome are usually on the high functioning

end of the spectrum (Austimspeaks.org). Essentially, when compared to others with different

forms of ASD, people with Asperger syndrome may seem less severe. Aspergers is a

developmental delay acquired before birth. Those with Aspergers Syndrome (also known as

AS) often have obsessive behaviors over peculiar things, such as baseball cards or horses

(autism-society.org). They might lack social skills, fine motor skills, or executive functioning

skills. Although they will mature, it will be at their own speed; Aspergers cannot be cured

(aane.org).

Asperger syndrome normally is not diagnosed at an early age; it is usually diagnosed

when/if it begins to affect school, work, social interactions, etc. The symptoms are often

misunderstood as symptoms of ADHD, and are sometimes misdiagnosed until it becomes more

apparent that the awkward social interactions come from something other than just an inability to

focus (Autismspeaks.org). Aspergers has recently become diagnosed more, but it is unclear

whether Aspergers is becoming more prevalent or if doctors are becoming better at diagnosing it

(autism-society.org). Aspergers is prevalent in one of 500 people, and the boy to girl ratio is a
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staggering 4:1 (aane.org). Of course, the level of Aspergers in a person varies; some have more

mild cases while some are more severe.

For some students, their Aspergers is so mild that it is hardly noticeable and little special

treatment is needed. However, some are extremely sensitive and lack social skills, causing the

need for teacher intervention. An important thing to keep in mind while teaching a child with

Asperger syndrome is to keep in mind that the child is most likely very sensitive to noise. There

are many everyday school sounds, such as ringing bells, that are equivalent to nails on a

chalkboard for a child with Aspergers. A few suggestions for teachers would be to let the child

wear headphones with soft music on; teachers can also keep track of which sounds are irritating

to the student, then see if any of those sounds are avoidable in the classroom (Kluth). Students

with Aspergers also have a difficult time in settings that are also social situations because. For

example, a student with AS placed in a small group of students may be so focused on the social

aspect of the group that he/she might completely miss the educational part (education.jhu.edu).

Being aware of what type of group setting is best for a student is crucial in order to keep them

from being over stimulated. Teaching a child with Aspergers can be difficult because they need

to learn social skills, but they may get so caught up in learning how to socialize that they neglect

to focus on schoolwork.

Those with AS are very teachable, are able to learn if they are well taught and put in the

appropriate setting for learning. People diagnosed with AS can improve their social skills, motor

skills, etc (aane.org). Aspergers Syndrome is becoming more prevalent across the board, but

more there are still significantly more boys than girls being diagnosed. Although AS does not

have a cure, those diagnosed with it can still live a somewhat normal life.
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Works Cited

Kluth, Paula. "You're Going to Love This Kid": Teaching Students with Autism in the Inclusive

Classroom. Baltimore, Md.: P.H. Brookes Pub., 2003. Print.

"Asperger Syndrome." Autism Speaks. Web. 30 Sept. 2014. <http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-

autism/asperger-syndrome>.

"Asperger's Syndrome - Autism Society." Autism Society Aspergers Syndrome Comments. Web.

30 Sept. 2014. <http://www.autism-society.org/about-autism/aspergers-syndrome/>.

May, Kelly. "Teaching Strategies for Asperger Students." John Hopkins School of Education.

Web. 30 Sept. 2014. <http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/Exceptional

Learners/Autism/Articles/Teaching Strategies for Asperger Students/>.

"What Is Asperger Syndrome?" Asperger/Autism Network. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.

<http://www.aane.org/about_asperger_syndrome/what_is_asperger_syndrome.html>.