Thursday, October 20, 2011

Students with Asperger's Face Challenges

Just came across an interesting item from Whitby College's newspaper -- The Pioneer -- in Washington. (What can I say, I always loved college newspapers.)

WALA WALA, Wash. -- "When people talk about autism . . . they think of the person doing their own thing in the back of the room," said Randall, a first-year. "But you don’t think of the kid who approaches people but doesn't know how to do it."
Randall has Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism characterized by intense interests and by difficulties understanding nonverbal expressions and showing empathy. Individuals with Asperger's are often highly intelligent and, unlike people with certain severe forms of autism, can communicate with verbal language.
There are no official numbers on Whitman students with Asperger's, though Director of Academic Resources Juli Dunn said she works with "a small handful." For Whitman students with Asperger’s, their differences affect their experiences both in the classroom and in Whitman’s broader social sphere. The Pioneer talked with two Whitties with Asperger’s, both of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not out publicly as individuals with Asperger’s. Both students are identified by pseudonyms of their choice.

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