Having a child with Asperger Syndrome (i.e. level 1 autism) in your class will have a different impact on your classroom environment than having a child with classic autism. But as is the case with all individuals on the autism spectrum, each individual with Asperger Syndrome is different and will present his or her own unique challenges. This information was written with students with Asperger Syndrome in mind. For basic information about AS, click here.
Children with Asperger Syndrome often display considerable academic strengths. Due to the effects of the disorder, however, these students often require different teaching strategies in order to discover and capitalize on those strengths. Within the school environment, students with Asperger Syndrome also face many obstacles to relationship building and interacting socially with their peers.
The first challenge is to recognize that Asperger Syndrome presents serious challenges for both the student and you. It can be very deceptive, almost hidden to the untrained eye at first. Children with Asperger Syndrome can, at times, look and act like much like their typically developing peers. Further, these children tend to perform as well or better academically than their classmates, which has the potential to mask the effects of the disorder.
Asperger Syndrome is a neurological disorder; individuals with the disorder often have difficulty controlling certain behaviors. Most often these behaviors are a function of Asperger Syndrome and not the result of an individual’s willful disobedience or defiance.