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Disability Information - Asperger Syndrome


General Information

Education & Classroom Accommodations

Michigan Resources, Support Groups, Listservs & Websites

National Resources & Websites

Articles Related to this Disability

Medical Information

Personal Home Pages

Books and Videos


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 General Information

Special Needs for School-Age Children: Asperger Syndrome: First Steps Toward Understanding


Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Siblings - During the past seven months, my wife and I have met an amazing group of people. In producing two videos about brothers and sisters of kids on the autism spectrum, we’ve conducted 57 interviews with siblings and parents. People were incredibly open about their lives.  About their hopes, fears, and challenges.  Most of all, about the ways they’ve found to make things better for their families.  We went into these videos looking for “best practices” about siblings that we could share with other families.  We got that and more.


Suspect Asperger's?  If you suspect Asperger's, ask to have these tests done on your child: Gilliam Asperger's Disorder Scale (GADS), Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale ASDS, and for speech and language, do the Test of Problem Solving (preferably the first edition of this test). This language test is sensitive to the language deficits common to Asperger's Syndrome. While children with Asperger's may be highly verbal, they may also control the topic of conversation, talk about their own interests, and be socially inept. This test helps uncover those issues.

Asperger's Syndrome: Guidelines for Treatment and Intervention by Ami Klin, Ph.D., and Fred R. Volkmar, M.D., Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut. Includes: Introduction, Securing and Implementing Services, General Intervention Setting, General Intervention Strategies, General Strategies for Communication Intervention, and Social Skills Training, General Guidelines for Behavior Management, Academic Curriculum, Vocational Training, Self-Support, Pharmacotherapy, and Psychotherapy.


Getting Started: Introducing Your Child to His or Her Diagnosis of Autism or Asperger Syndrome - Who, what, when, where, how, and why are all important questions parents ask themselves when problem solving and making decisions about issues in the lives of their children. Discussing an autism or Asperger Syndrome diagnosis with your child is a very important issue and one for which many parents seek advice. This brief article will focus on aspects of explaining your child's diagnosis to him or her, and about resources that can assist and guide you.

Driver's Education Q and A: Are there any driver's ed schools that work well with kids who have Asperger's and High Functioning Autism?  Click here for the answer.


Asperger Syndrome

By Rosalyn Lord

Asperger Syndrome is a developmental disorder falling within the autistic spectrum affecting two-way social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and a reluctance to accept change, inflexibility of thought and to have all absorbing narrow areas of interest. Individuals are usually extremely good on rote memory skills (facts, figures, dates, times etc.) many excel in math and science. There is a range of severity of symptoms within the syndrome, the very mildly affected child often goes undiagnosed and may just appear odd or eccentric.


While Asperger Syndrome is much more common than Autism it is still a rare condition and few people, including professionals, will know about it much less have experience of it. It seems to affect more boys than girls. In general terms they find making friends difficult, not understanding the subtle clues needed to do so. They often use language in a slightly odd way and take literal meanings from what is read or heard. They are happiest with routines and a structured environment, finding it difficult to decide what to do they fall back on to their preferred activities. They love praise, winning and being first, but find loosing, imperfection and criticism very difficult to take. Bad behavior often stems from an inability to communicate their frustrations and anxieties. They need love, tenderness, care, patience and understanding. Within this framework they seem to flourish.

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 Education & Classroom Accommodations


NC School Offers Special Curriculum for Students with Asperger's -The Asperger Connection School, reportedly the first school in the country designed for students with Asperger's syndrome, opened in August 2011 in Pikeville, N.C. The school offers a computer-based approach to learning with students working on laptops who are allowed to progress at their own pace. The screen time is supplemented with three outdoor breaks each day and weekly horseback-riding therapy to help develop students' balance and gross-motor skills. A second location for the school is set to open in Durham, N.C., on Jan. 9, and organizers say plans for a third location are in the works.


MD Gaithersburg School Tailors Teaching To Help Students Cope With Asperger’s - Alex was a capable child with superior intelligence -- and no end of eccentricities. He would flee noisy school assemblies. He couldn't bear the smell of the cafeteria. By the end of first grade, his mother was spending much of the day at Alex's side. On Thursday, Alex, 10, finished fourth grade at one of the nation's few public schools with a program tailored to children with Asperger's. He is popular and well-adjusted, and spends more and more of his school days in regular classes. The program at Diamond Elementary addresses one of the most vexing problems in special education: What to do with a child who is disabled but who has average to above-average intelligence and is capable of work at or above grade level? James Ball, who has consulted nationally on autism, said the Montgomery County effort "should be looked at as a model program" for teaching children with Asperger's, "because they are a unique breed of kids, and they do respond to a variety of unique teaching strategies."


School, Public System Form Partnership to Serve Pupils With Asperger Syndrome - Merril Oliver's son, now in seventh grade, could read at a third-grade level when he was 3 years old. His favorite bedtime story when he was 4 was his mother's college astronomy book. Now, he is one several students with Asperger Syndrome who have enrolled at the Norbel School as part of a new partnership between the county school system and the private school in Elkridge, which teaches youngsters in prekindergarten through grade 12 who have learning and/or language disabilities.


Autism Spectrum Disorders and Choosing College Courses - Are you helping a student with an Autism Spectrum Disorder prepare for their freshman year of college?


Teaching Kids With Asperger Syndrome For The First Time - You're a teacher. You've just found out that you're going to have a student with Asperger Syndrome (AS) in class this year. You're in for an interesting year. And that's not coded language for "brace yourself." It's a real-life perspective that teaching a child with AS often gives you as many opportunities as challenges.


20 Ways To Ensure the Successful Inclusion of Asperger Child in the General Education Classroom - Children with Asperger syndrome (AS) have a variety of issues that must be addressed on a daily basis. Because these children tend to be high-functioning, many are placed in general education classrooms in order to receive the best education possible. Teachers working with children with AS may not be aware of how to provide the best inclusive environment. The following are strategies and tips that can be incorporated to help these children adjust and become successful in the general education classroom.

Appropriate Educational Placements for Children with Asperger’s Syndrome
For more information on Dr. Tony Attwood or to check out his many publications and resources, visit "The child with Asperger’s Syndrome does not have the behavioral and learning profile of a child with classic autism, and schools or units for such children may not be an appropriate option. The child is also not acutely disturbed and psychiatric services can be reluctant to provide services for someone with a developmental disorder. The child may have specific learning problems but not be considered eligible for services for the intellectually disabled. Thus the conventional government services often have few resources, services and policies for people with this syndrome."


Social Communication and Language Characteristics Associated with High Functioning, Verbal Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder from the Indiana Resource Center for Autism:


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 Michigan Resources, Support Groups, Listservs & Websites


Autism Association of Michigan -


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 National Resources & Websites


U.K. Different Worlds - Basingstoke, Hants - We are a group of parents, carers, friends and relatives with a common link. We all have personal experience of Aspergers Syndrome or other Autistic Spectrum Disorders. We meet monthly and invite ‘Guest Speakers’ along to the meetings. We have had visits from Social Services, the Local Education Authority, Alternative Therapists re. dietary advice etc. We have write ups, photos, poetry, diagnosis criteria, and much more on our Site, and we actively encourage both adults and children to write for us.


Asperger Syndrome Education Network (ASPEN) - ASPEN® is a New Jersey based non-profit organization providing support and information to families and individuals whose lives are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS, High Functioning Autism), and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities including: Education about the issues surrounding the disorders. Support in knowing that they are not alone, and in helping individuals with ASD's and NLD achieve their maximum potential. Advocacy in areas of appropriate educational programs, medical research funding, adult issues and increased public awareness and understanding.


Autism Society of America

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. The result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, autism and its associated behaviors have been estimated to occur in as many as 2 to 6 in 1,000 individuals (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2001). Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries. Family income, lifestyle, and educational levels do not affect the chance of autism's occurrence.


National Autistic Society (NAS)

Initially working out of Helen Green Allison's back room, with a handful of members and little funding, the NAS has come a long way in 39 years. Today, the Society has grown into the UK's foremost organisation for people with autism and those who care for them, spearheading national and international initiatives and providing a strong voice for autism.



Families of Adults Afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome

Our mission is to offer support to the family members of adult individuals afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome.  Our goal is to educate the public to the existence of Asperger’s Syndrome in the ADULT population and to bring awareness of this neurological disorder and its ramifications on the ‘whole’ family to the medical communities who are directly or indirectly involved.  Another key aspect to our work is to give the families a measure of reassurance so they can validate their concerns and frustrations as concrete issues rather than simple ‘family problems’. 

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 Articles Related to this Disability


Stacking the Deck for Family Holidays - It’s family holiday gatherings season. So, do you feel anticipation or anxiety? If you have a child with an autism spectrum disorder, you might feel a bit of both.


Who's To Know? Disclosing Asperger Syndrome - Your son or daughter has Asperger Syndrome. Who do you tell? Who do they tell? This can be a tough decision. There are definitely two sides to disclosure issues. Personally, I'm in favor of being as open as possible with people who are going to have routine contact with your child - and that includes other kids. But it's an individual and family decision.


Discovering Asperger Syndrome - Getting a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome for your child is sort of like getting hit by a slow freight train. Usually, you know something's wrong. Maybe you got worried. Maybe teachers or others urged you to get your child checked out. Maybe, like my wife and I, you went through several other diagnoses first. But even though you knew something was coming, you still feel the impact when you get the official word.


Bestseller Helps Parents Fight Accusations of Child Abuse - Books: Novel has shed light on Asperger's Syndrome but families still find themselves under investigation.


Practicing Social Skills - When's the last time you got frustrated because you told your child not to do something, and two minutes later he or she is doing it again? I think of this as "Teflon Shelf Syndrome." If you consider the brain as a storehouse with shelves, some kids seem to have some shelves that are coated with Teflon - and are tilted so things slide off easily. So...maybe it's not your son's fault that his finger strays to his nostril. It's not your daughter's fault she doesn't make eye contact when you speak to her. Maybe it’s the way their brains work.


Autism and the Pew Lady - I'm writing on behalf of the mother of a five-year old girl with autism - and for me and my son. If you're not familiar with autism and you've ever wondered what you might do to help, here's a heads up. I ran into the mother I mentioned at the Autism Society of North Carolina annual conference in Raleigh. She described how her autistic daughter had become upset in church and caused a small disturbance.


Asperger Syndrome: Classroom Success Next Year - Do you want next year to be different? If you want the coming school year to be better for your child with Asperger Syndrome, whip out a sheet of paper. Now, let's do a review of what worked this year and what you'd like to see carried over into next year. What did Jimmy like about school? What did Mary do best in? What did the teachers do that worked? What did you and your child do that worked? What do you want to make sure you capture and repeat next year?


Asperger Syndrome: Put Those Kids To Work! - We’d do anything for our kids with Asperger Syndrome. Is that always a good thing? Hmmmmmm. Hard to say. It’s good if we can figure out what we need to do for our kids versus what they need to do for themselves. And that’s not always easy.

Asperger Syndrome and Mom's Secret Weapon (A Mother's Day Reflection) - Want to be more effective in helping your child? Want to give him the best possible training to deal with AS and succeed? Then you need to access a secret weapon. You. Your immediate reaction may be, "Yeah, right! I'm already doing everything I can. More than I can! In fact, I'm so stressed that just the thought of doing more threatens to shut me down."


IN 'Unlimited Potential' Program Offers Hope - Alex Harvey is a little preoccupied and logical to the point of irritation. A typical gifted child. In truth, the 10-year-old Munster boy has Asperger's disorder. Many cases of this syndrome go undiagnosed because it is assumed that a child with a high IQ is bound to act differently. According to the American Psychiatric Association, Asperger's is one of five disorders that fit under the umbrella of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs). Others include autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder and Rett's disorder. While the association classifies Asperger's as a separate disorder from autism, many professionals still consider it to be a less severe form of autism.


Asperger's Syndrome: The Invisible Disability - "You could teach a child the theory of relativity once and he'd get it. But you'd have to tell him the rules for lining up for recess 500 times."


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 Medical Information


Take the interactive empathy quotient test or take the interactive systemizing quotient test.


Categorical Definition and Clinical Description

As defined in DSM-IV (the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, 1994), the tentative criteria for AS follow the same format, and in fact overlap to some degree, the criteria for autism.


Related Diagnostic Concepts

Several similar diagnostic concepts originating from adult psychiatry, neuropsychology, neurology, and other disciplines share, to a great degree, the phenomenological aspects of AS.


Qualitative Impairments in Reciprocal Social Interaction & Communication

Although the social criteria for AS and autism are identical, the former condition usually involves fewer symptoms and has a generally different presentation than does the latter.


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