Mainstreaming Students with Aspenger's Syndrome
Aspenger’s syndrome is a disorder on the higher end of the autism spectrum. Many students with Aspenger’s (AS) are mainstreamed into regular classroom because their IQs are typical in the normal to very superior range. Students with AS often have one or two subjects of which they are extremely interested and develop a large amount of knowledge around the particular subject(s) becoming small experts on them; for this reason AS is often referred to as “little professor” syndrome.
Although most students with AS have normal to above average intelligence; they also have issues that placed them inside the autism family. The two areas that are the biggest challenge for AS students are: social and communication. AS students may not socialize with other students in their class and they may pick up on basic verbal or non verbal communication. They have an extreme need for order
++What Teacher Should Do
Teaching a child with Aspenger’s may not be the key to an awful school year. The teacher needs to prepare by learning all that the can about the disorder and talk to the parents to see how the disorder affects their child. Once the school year has started the teachers must be patient with the student and their display of patience will lead to patience and understanding in the other students in the class.
The teacher needs to develop some routines such a daily class schedule. Also the upset of the room is very important. Because a child with Aspenger’s need for routine and sameness, the teacher should think about making routines and procedures that are norms for the classroom.
The teacher or teachers of the child with Aspenger’s should also be aware that social issues will affect a student AS more than other children in the room. A child with AS can not pick up on social cues or sometimes misunderstanding the use of metaphors and comparisons and this could lead to some communication problems. The teacher need to let everyone know that this student is a valuable part of the class and with the parents and child agrees the teacher could help the student by educating the others in the class about the disorder.
1. Brandes, Joyce. (2005) Aspenger’s syndrome-practical strategies for the classroom:a teacher’s guide. Intervention in School and Clinic
2. Article contributed by Angela Ramsey-Lockhart