Serene-Disability Study - 1 David Serene RHE 379C-...

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1 David Serene RHE 379C- Overcoming Reading Difficulties Disability Study 15 November 2007
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2 Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) As a young intern teacher, Mr. Jones observed two students in one class, Billy and Mark, who appeared to be a little different than the rest of the students. He knew both were receiving extra help from two special education aides that were in the classroom, but he did not know why. Mr. Jones decided to observe this class more thoroughly to find out what was troubling these two students. Sometimes Mr. Jones observed Billy struggling with an assignment almost to the point where he wanted to throw the paper away just because it was not perfect to him. He also noticed that Billy was somewhat socially awkward and clumsy compared to the rest of the students in his class. Mr. Jones observed Mark and saw some differences. Mark always had a unique look on his face and appeared to be daydreaming most of the time in class. Mark was sometimes bullied, laughed at by his fellow students, and took extended time to process a question. In one particular case, the teacher, Ms. Bergstein asked, “Mark, what is the name of an American colonist who was loyal to British during the American Revolution?” Mark did not respond as he took time to think. The Ms. Bergstein asked him again. This time, Mark asked one of the special aides if he could answer with something funny since he did not know. Mark went on to say his answer was “colonist,” while the rest of the class snickered and whispered about Mark’s inability to answer the question. Mr. Jones found this exchange between student, teacher, and aide as well as his observations of Billy to be very eye opening into the minds of students with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) or sometimes called Asperger’s Disorder. According to Judith Martinovich (2006), “Asperger’s Syndrome is a classification for a group of characteristics and traits common to the autistic spectrum” (p. 49). As was the case with Billy and Mark, AS affects boys more
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3 than girls. One study showed that the prevalence of people affected by AS was about 36 per 10,000 (Cumine, Leach, & Stevenson, 1998, p. 3). As a result, AS is more prevalent in children than autism, which occurs in 4 out of every 10,000 children, and more of an issue for employees in the educational setting (Bauer, 2007, Epidemiology section, par. 1). Finally, AS is a relatively newly classified disorder and because of its similarities with autism, it is considered an autism spectrum disorder and a pervasive developmental disorder (S. Betts, D. Betts, & Gerber-Eckard, 2007, p. 15). As mentioned before, Asperger’s Syndrome is a recently categorized pervasive development disorder. An Austrian pediatrician named Hans Asperger described AS back in the 1940s after studying a group of children who had behaviors similar to autism (Cumine et al., 1998, p. 1). Eventually, AS received its first recognition as a mental disorder in 1994. The diagnostic criteria of AS is stated in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
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Serene-Disability Study - 1 David Serene RHE 379C-...

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