Understanding and Teaching Students with Asperger's Syndrome as Individuals
Dr Deslea Konza.
Students diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome are being reported with increasing frequency in classrooms throughout the Western world, yet many teachers have limited understanding of the condition, or of appropriate strategies for the successful inclusion of students with this diagnosis. While it is imperative that teachers acquire broad information about the condition, this does not preclude the need to be closely attuned to the unique manifestations of the Syndrome, and of the individualised responses that they may require.
This presentation will introduce two very different students who, despite having the same diagnosis, experienced and presented quite different challenges in their mainstream settings. The presentation will focus on the need for careful observation of each individual student to determine strategies the student uses to initiate interactions, triggers that lead to stress responses, calming strategies that the student uses, subtle indicators that the student is becoming anxious, context variables that facilitate on-task and co-operative behaviour, and behaviour that in most students would indicate off-task behaviour, but which may, in fact, enhance on-task behaviour.
Dr Deslea Konza (Australia)
Faculty of Education
University of Wollongong
Deslea Konza coordinates undergraduate and postgraduate Special Education programs at the University of Wollongong. She has published in special education policy, teacher education, hearing impairment, gifted education and dual exceptionality, and has published texts on classroom management and reading difficulties. Research interests include reading disability, ADHD and the Autistic Spectrum.
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)