Aspergers: Quick Facts

"Would you have a simple summary, kind of a snapshot, that describes the most relevant aspects of AS that I can give my Aspie son's teacher so that she can get a basic understanding of this disorder without having to read a book on it?"

Sure! Just copy and paste the quick facts below, and give it to the teacher...

Aspergers is:
  • a developmental disorder, not a disease or a form of genius
  • a form of autism that affects language less, but does present with difficulties in appropriate speech and communicative development
  • a form of autism, which affects the way a child relates to others
  • a highly functional form of autism
  • a neurobiological syndrome named for a Viennese physician, Hans Asperger, who published a paper in 1944 describing the autistic-like condition
  • a type of autism, which leads to difficulties in reading non-verbal cues
  • characterized by social interaction difficulties and impairments related to a restricted, repetitive, stereotype behavior
  • not the result of "bad parenting"
  • often confused with ADD and ADHD
  • not classified as a learning disability, but it is a disorder that impacts learning
Aspergers Treatment:
  • can help children learn how to interact more successfully with their peers
  • focuses on the three main symptoms: poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness
  • involves medication for co-existing conditions, cognitive behavioral therapy, and social skills training
  • is geared toward improving communication, social skills, and behavior management
  • is not a cure, but there are a number of different interventions that have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms associated with Aspergers
  • mainly helps to build on the child’s interests, teaches the task as a series of simple steps, and offers a predictable schedule
  • requires an interdisciplinary approach (i.e., speech pathologists, social workers, psychologists and developmental pediatricians all may be involved in treatment)
  • should be tailored to meet individual needs
  • strives to improve the child's abilities to interact with other people and thus to function effectively in society and be self-sufficient
  • varies according to the practitioner, because some therapists think Aspergers is the same as high functioning autism, while others think it’s more like a nonverbal learning disability
  • is a complex process that involves spending time with the child, gathering background information from parents and teachers, directly testing the child, and integrating information into a comprehensive picture

Facts as reported by children and teens with Aspergers:
  • To talk to a person with Aspergers may be like talking to a college professor.
  • Having Aspergers is like being on a different planet. 
  • Sometimes having Aspergers is really annoying because, for example, at school, I get special treatment or other people pick on me because I'm weird or different.

Note: Aspergers is now referred to as "high-functioning autism."

Teaching Students with Aspergers 


•    Anonymous said... I agree my 8 year old son has aspergers and we just stayed in constant communication. With the teacher, principal and assistant principal. They all were wonderful with my son. We take each day as it comes. The one problem we have is what sets him off today Maynor set him off tomorrow
•    Anonymous said... I would create a snapshot on YOUR child. The problem with a book or a checklist is that it may or may not apply to your son. That is who the teacher should be concerned with. Any prior experience with or knowledge of children with autism should be thrown out the window because every child is so unique.
•    Anonymous said... They are sensitive, they can't read facial expressions so they cannot predict what may happen so any changes need earliest notification to reduce stres, fear and the urge to run.
•    Anonymous said... They understand express their thoughts and emotions but will not necessarily notice, be bothered by or understand yours / others. This is a skill that is not innate to them but can be learned. Oh yes and they are amazing.

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