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ERIC Number: ED537346
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 89
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-4874-2
Asperger Syndrome in the Middle and High School Classroom: Special Interest Areas and Strength-Based Instruction
Mercer-White, Rebecca
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, New York University
The fact that most teenagers with Asperger syndrome (AS) are now educated in mainstream or inclusion classrooms presents problems for many of their teachers who have reported feeling ill-equipped to deal with the often conflicting learning profiles these students present. At issue is the restricted, circumscribed, or special interest areas (SIAs) that are often a hallmark of AS and within which the student displays many important skills, such as the creation of abstract concepts, that they usually do not displayed within their regular academic work. While teachers have been encouraged to use a strength-based approach to teaching, they have been offered little information that will aid them in doing so. In order to help teachers develop this strength-based approach, this study conducted in-depth interviews with four middle and high school boys with AS to learn about their perceptions of their learning experiences within both their SIAs and their academics. The results showed that learning experiences within SIAs resemble the Optimal Experiences described by Csikszentmihalyi in his book "Flow" (1990) in that they were highly pleasurable, focus on knowledge building and skill acquisition, and encourage collaboration, whereas learning experiences within the academic context did not. Recommendations are offered to help teachers of middle and high school age boys with AS recognize those students' SIA-related strengths and help them generalize those strengths to other domains within the academic curriculum. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A