Autism is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain. Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Children and adults with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. Asperger's Syndrome (AS) is considered a disorder at the higher end of the autistic continuum.
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Insistence on Sameness:
Students with Asperger's Syndrome are easily overwhelmed by minimal change and are highly sensitive to environmental stressors. They are anxious and tend to worry obsessively; stress fatigue and sensory overload easily throw them off balance. Impairment in Social Interaction:
Students may show an inability to understand complex rules of social interaction; may not like physical contact; talk at people instead of to them; use an unnatural tone of voice; are insensitive and lack tact; misinterpret social cues; have well-developed speech but poor communication; and usually have a desire to be part of the social world. Restricted Range of Interests:
Students have eccentric preoccupations or odd, intense fixations. They tend to relentlessly "lecture" on areas of interest and sometimes refuse to learn about anything outside their limited field of interest. Poor Concentration:
Students with Asperger's Syndrome are often off track, distracted by external stimuli; are very disorganized; cannot figure out what is relevant; and have difficulty learning in group situations. Poor Motor Coordination:
Students are physically clumsy and awkward; are unsuccessful in games involving motor skills; and experience fine-motor deficits that can cause penmanship problems, slow clerical speed, and affect their ability to draw. Academic Difficulties:
Students with Asperger's Syndrome usually have average to above-average intelligence but lack high-level thinking and comprehension skills.