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Putting the ‘A’ in Asperger’s. Acceptance, Access, Achievement: Case study of a Rapides Parish student’s successful high school graduation and transition to Northwestern State University. The Family Perspective.

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putting the a in asperger s
Putting the ‘A’ in Asperger’s
  • Acceptance, Access, Achievement:
  • Case study of a Rapides Parish student’s successful high school graduation and transition to Northwestern State University.
the family perspective
The Family Perspective
  • Take one boy with Asperger’s, add in Oppositional Defiance and ADHD, and mix with inclusion in a regular classroom. What makes for a winning formula for child, parent, teacher, staff, and administrators?
  • How can we be partners in success for everyone and not pugilists?
recommendations from the family
Recommendations from the Family
  • Teachers and parents need to communicate and work together
  • Please, get to know the parents’ challenges and what has and has not worked for them
  • Please, let the parents know how they can help you and the child succeed
perfectly taylor
Perfectly Taylor
  • A whirlwind of activity

and the unexpected

  • Quest for Understanding
  • Effect on Family Members
  • Changing Needs
  • Future Concerns
elementary experiences
Elementary Experiences
  • No official diagnosis of Asperger’s until 3rd grade
  • He just didn’t fit into any neat category at the time
  • Best experience: 2nd grade teacher
  • Worst experience: 4th grade
social skills goals beginning skills
Social Skills GoalsBeginning Skills
  • Proximity
  • Greetings
  • Eye Contact
  • Turn Taking
  • Using Names
  • Waiting
  • Requesting
  • Listening to others
  • Showing & Accepting Affection
catch me if you can
Catch Me If You Can!
  • Homework on the run or skateboard!
more family thoughts
More Family Thoughts
  • You can’t discipline Asperger’s out of a child
  • Practice forgiveness
  • Reconsider why and how much homework is assigned
  • Reconsider how child’s understanding of material is assessed
  • Consider tone and form of correspondence sent home
middle school experience
Middle School Experience
  • Principal who set climate for understanding and rewarding Taylor for his strengths; setting conditions to minimize his challenges and challenging days
  • Teachers who actually seemed to like Taylor and his quirky habits and insights
likes to be funny
Likes to be “Funny”
  • “I use my vocabulary as my shield or weapon”
  • “I like making people laugh”
  • Not “reverent”
social skills goals intermediate
Social Skills GoalsIntermediate
  • Appropriate Commenting
  • Initiating Conversations
  • Developing Age-appropriate hobbies
  • Apologizing
  • Seeking assistance when needed
  • Ignoring others inappropriate behavior
  • Introducing self and others
secondary experiences
Secondary Experiences
  • Principal who understands Taylor and has made a personal connection
  • Some teachers who have connected to Taylor and his “humor”
  • Social isolation and feeling different become heightened
  • Immaturity more noticeable
  • Paraprofessional key to navigating halls and high school culture!
homecoming
Homecoming
  • Going alone
  • Wanting to be

a part of school life

the adolescent s perspective taylor
The Adolescent’s Perspective: Taylor
  • “I’m at the peak of everything that Asperger’s is supposed to disable such as facial expressions, tones of people’s voices, and awareness of my environment and social instincts.”
  • “I have an advantage because when I’m really interested in something, Asperger’s can help me focus and concentrate on it.”
  • “I’m getting better at not letting things bug me like idiotic questions students ask in school.”
recommendations from taylor
Recommendations from Taylor
  • 1. Be strict; don’t be too strict;
  • 2. Smile;
  • 3. Add a joke now and then;
  • 4. Make your explanations short and sweet. Put it in the simplest terms possible.
  • 5. Break tests down into smaller parts
taylor comments cont d
Taylor Comments Cont’d
  • I’m better with math because a formula is a formula.
  • I’m getting better with English and am using metaphors.
  • Art is the most difficult for me because of my dysgraphia and I’m not interested in it.
strategies for the classroom
Strategies for the Classroom
  • Clear Expectations
  • Structure, Routine, Consistency
  • Immediate Reinforcement
  • Directly teach appropriate behavior
  • Teach social skills directly
  • Break down larger tasks into smaller chunks
  • Use simple language
what s going on in school taylor s perspective
What’s going on in School?Taylor’s Perspective
  • What do you want all teachers to know about Asperger’s?
  • What part of school gets easier for you the longer you are in school?
  •  What assignments work best for you? That is, what assignments show off your knowledge and skills, so the teacher knows you know the content?
what s going on in school taylor s perspective23
What’s going on in School?Taylor’s Perspective
  • What would you like to tell your peers about yourself?
  • Which peers support you?
  • Do you get support in the school from your principal? teacher(s)? etc.?
strengths of college students with asperger s
Strengths of College Students with Asperger’s
  • Punctuality, if interested in the class;
  • Attention to Detail, if interested in the topic;
  • Good Memory, if interested in the content;
  • Staying on task, if interested in the topic.
social skills goals advanced
Social Skills GoalsAdvanced
  • Developing leisure skills
  • Dealing with mistakes
  • Keeping confidences
  • Expressing sympathy/empathy
  • Developing Friendships
  • Appropriate Dating
  • Managing Free Time
personal skills getzel mcmanus briel 2004
Personal Skills(Getzel, McManus, & Briel, 2004)
  • Better understanding of their disability and its impact on learning
  • Stress-management skills
self advocacy skills getzel mcmanus briel 2004
Self-Advocacy Skills(Getzel, McManus, & Briel, 2004)
  • Developing steps within their Academic Plan on how to self-identify to the office of disability support services and how to hold discussions with staff members on appropriate strategies for requesting accommodations.
  • Developing steps within their Academic Plan on initiating the use of accommodations with faculty, and monitoring their use by reviewing students' Academic Plan with staff.
  • Providing opportunities for students with disabilities to network with one another to discuss their college experiences and the services, supports, or strategies that have proven helpful.
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“Students with AS have islands of intelligence, but they have great trouble in making logical connections and inferences.” Paula FurrQuestions and Answers furrp@nsula.edu