Autism Spectrum Disorders / Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by significant difficulties with the use of language in social situations, poor social relatedness, and the presence of unusual and repetitive behaviors. Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism are terms applied to the mildest and highest functioning end of what are known as Asperger Syndrome Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Individuals with Asperger Syndrome have normal intelligence and some demonstrate exceptional skills or talents in a specific area. However, many of the social and communicative problems associated with Asperger Syndrome make social interactions, relationships, and participation difficult. They may show anxiety in social situations, have poor eye contact, and have difficulty understanding non-verbal cues. They often have rigid routines and may be preoccupied with a particular subject of interest. They may prefer sameness and have difficulties with transitions or changes. People with Asperger Syndrome may also be overly sensitive to touch, sounds, tastes, smells, and sights. They may engage in unusual behaviors such as handflapping, which may increase with stress.

In addition to academic accommodations, the symptoms associated with Asperger Syndrome may require accommodations for students accessing postsecondary student services such as housing and residential life, tutoring and learning centers, registration, and financial aid.


Reasonable accommodations for a student with Asperger Syndrome may include:

  • private room in residence halls
  • reduced course loads
  • preferential registration for smaller classes

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Explore DO-IT Publications, Knowledge Base articles, and websites on this topic at Accommodation Resources: Autism Spectrum Disorders / Asperger Syndrome. To learn about specific accommodations for an academic activity, select from the list below.