There is no right type of Asperger’s. People with Asperger’s are as varied as Norwegians and trombone players.
Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Vintage: London (2004)
Asperger’s syndrome is thought to fall within the spectrum of autism, but with enough distinct features to warrant its own label. It is characterised by subtle impairments in three areas of development: social communication, social interaction and social imagination. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in language acquisition. However, students with Asperger’s syndrome have communication difficulties and may speak in a monotonous or exaggerated tone and at great length about a topic that is of particular interest to them irrespective of the reaction of the listener. Students find it difficult to interpret social signals and interact with others. They often excel at memorising facts and figures but exhibit difficulty thinking in the abstract ways required for subjects such as English and Religious Education.
Students may have additional motor co-ordination and organisational problems such as a tendency to compartmentalise thinking (e.g. completion of a task may be perceived as unrelated to the presentation of the task), difficulties in managing time and completing work, eating, drinking and sleeping irregularities, an inability to block out distractions affecting attention span, inappropriate eye contact, and sensory and perceptual sensitivities. Asperger’s syndrome affects students in the average to above average ability range.
The following table provides a summary of the range of approaches that have been developed to meet the needs of students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). A decision to use a particular approach should be based on an in-depth knowledge of the student, what one wishes to teach and what the student needs to learn.