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Characteristics, Placement Options, and the Costs By Grace Crowley

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1 Characteristics, Placement Options, and the Costs By Grace Crowley
Asperger’s Syndrome Characteristics, Placement Options, and the Costs By Grace Crowley

2 Characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome
Asperger’s Syndrome is a developmental disorder which is characterized, primarily, by a distinct lack of social skills and difficulty in dealing with others in social relationships (NICHCY, 2003). Additional characteristics include: Poor concentration Restricted Range of Interests Difficulty with Changes in Routine Poor Motor Coordination

3 “My name is Tim Crowley. I have Asperger’s Syndrome.
I attend school in a regular classroom. I like to go to school. I wish I could go on the weekends.”

4 Normal to above average intelligence and excellent language skills are common for a student with Asperger's Syndrome, but he or she may have difficulty understanding the subtleties used in every day conversation, such as metaphors, irony, and humor (NICHCY, 2003). Students with Asperger’s Syndrome are unable to read social cues and do not pick up on the unwritten rules of etiquette that children learn naturally through the normal process of growing up. As a result, this can lead to social isolation and extreme difficulty in making friends and, later in life, holding down a job (Hallahan and Kauffman, 2006). These issues can present challenges when deciding on an educational placement for a child with Asperger’s Syndrome. The following are possible educational options:

5 Regular Class Inclusion
For inclusion in the regular classroom to be successful for the student with Asperger’s Syndrome, a teacher should consider the following: Keep strong lines of communication open with the student’s parents Prepare the student for changes in routine with schedules and time frames Provide a safe area away from noise and crowds that can lead to stress Structure seating arrangements to allow for a “peer buddy” system Encourage the student to participate in activities that make use of their strengths, such as the math club or computer club. Strive to create a strong sense of belonging among the students in the classroom and celebrate diversity (Motechin, 2006).

6 Regular Class with Consultation
Professional development courses are available to the regular classroom teacher, as well as consultation with the special education staff. The consulting teacher can provide special materials, equipment, or methods to assist the teacher. An itinerant teacher can be called upon to assist the student in the classroom and provide suggestions to the regular classroom teacher. A classroom aide can be provided to assist the student with note taking and positive social interaction (Hallahan and Kauffman, 2006).

7 Resource Teacher The resource teacher will schedule sessions with the student outside of the regular classroom to work on assignments in a one-to-one or small group setting. The resource teacher can also work with the student on life skills, such as job seeking, social cues, and etiquette. The student can work with the resource teacher during testing to reduce stress and anxiety. The resource room can provide a more isolated and comfortable area in which to work (Hallahan and Kauffman, 2006).

8 “I would really like to play baseball, but I can’t hit the ball and I fall down when I try to run. So now I just watch and cheer my friends on.”

9 Self-Contained Special Class
A self-contained special class usually has a smaller number of students with similar disabilities. The teacher is specifically trained in special education and provides all of the academic instruction throughout the day. A special education aide is provided to assist in the program. With the exception of such classes as music, art, or physical education, students in a self-contained class do not participate in daily learning activities with their non-disabled peers. Special education students are able to participate with their non-disabled peers as their behavior permits (Hallahan and Kauffman, 2006).

10 Special Day School The purpose of a special day school is to provide all-day instruction for students under the guidance of a special education staff. Most special day school students with Asperger’s Syndrome have been unable to find a suitable program within the public school system due to severe social and/or emotional challenges (National Youth Network, 2007). There are no non-disabled students in attendance.

11 Homebound or Hospital Instruction
Homebound or hospital instruction is usually very short term; a few days to a few weeks. This option is ordinarily reserved for severe behavioral problems. The homebound teacher keeps in regular contact with the classroom teacher (Hallahan and Kauffman, 2006).

12 Residential School In a residential setting, the student receives academic and daily living instruction. Residential schools provide twenty-four hour care and supervision away from the student’s home and community. Students may return home for a weekend visit, but will remain in the residential setting during the rest of the week. This option is the most restrictive on the Continuum of Alternative Placement (Hallahan and Kauffman, 2006).

13 Conclusion Most students with Asperger’s Syndrome are able to maintain in the regular classroom or the self-contained program. Students are placed in the least restrictive environment (LRE) based on their behavioral needs. As students with Asperger’s Syndrome move through the educational system, there are coaches and counseling services dedicated to assisting with transitions from high school to college to job training and career choices.

14 “I’m going to the prom. I got so excited that I forgot to ask my girlfriend to go with me! I hope she comes!”

15 “Well, I graduate tonight, and I’m off to college
“Well, I graduate tonight, and I’m off to college. I’ll be studying Theatre Arts.”

16 References Hallahan, D., & Kauffman, J. (2006). Exceptional learners. Boston: Allyn and Bacon Motechin, S. (2006) What is Asperger’s Syndrome?. Retrieved September 18, 2007, from National Youth Network. (2007). Day schools. Retrieved September 17, 2007, from NICHCY. (2003). Pervasive developmental disorders. Retrieved September 17, 2007, from

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