Understanding and teaching students with Asperger's Syndrome as individuals
Common Ground Publishing Pty Ltd
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education
Students diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome are being reported with increasing frequency in classrooms throughout the Western world (Barnhill, 2001; Safran, 2001), yet many teachers have limited understanding of the condition, or of appropriate strategies for the successful inclusion of students with this diagnosis. There are now increasing calls for teachers to become aware of the nature of this Syndrome, and of strategies to facilitate the learning of students with this diagnosis in regular classrooms (Myles, 1998; Attwood, 1998). While it is imperative that teachers acquire broad information about the condition, this does not preclude the need to be closely attuned to the unique manifestations of the Syndrome, and of the individualised responses that they may require. This paper will introduce two very different students who, despite having the same diagnosis, experienced and presented quite different challenges in their mainstream settings. Support was offered to the schools and teachers to facilitate the students’ inclusion through explanation and demonstration of strategies gleaned from a review of the literature. After briefly discussing the characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome, this paper will focus on the strategies that were used, and the extent to which they were successful.