What are typical challenges and accommodations for students with Asperger's Disorder and high-functioning Autism?

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School activities that may be particularly challenging for students with Asperger's Disorder (also referred to as Asperger Syndrome) and high-functioning Autism include social interactions, noisy or disordered environments, intense sensory stimulation, and changes in expected routines. The unstructured parts of the school day, such as lunch, may present the greatest challenges. Many students with Asperger's Disorder or high-functioning Autism have difficulty using a pencil and paper for writing. Some have difficulty with organization and schedules.

Although each individual is unique and the student and family should be consulted regarding accommodations, the following accommodations may be helpful to students with Asperger's Disorder and high-functioning Autism:

  • clearly established and ordered routines
  • warning and preparation when changes are anticipated
  • planning and practicing of communication strategies and social routines
  • earplugs or noise-canceling headsets in hallways or lunchroom
  • a quiet area where the student can take a time-out if necessary
  • visual schedules and graphic organizers
  • visual or written, rather than auditory, instructions
  • computer use, especially word processing for writing
  • note taker

For additional information and resources on working with students with Asperger's Disorder, consult Supporting Students with Asperger's Syndrome in General Education, Guide for Working with Students with Asperger's Syndrome, Classroom Tips for Students with Asperger’s Disorder, and Asperger's Syndrome Guide for Teachers.

Last update or review: January 24, 2013