Asperger syndrome (AS) is a neurobiological pervasive developmental disorder and part of the autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It was first described in 1944 by the physician Hans Asperger. AS characteristics are limited interests and rituals, peculiarities in speech, socially inappropriate behavior, poor nonverbal communication and clumsy motor movements.
The aim of this study was to research:1. AS-characteristics.2. The criterions for choosing spechial school versus ordinary school for AS-children.3. How the symptoms affect education.4. Opinions in spechial literature, among teachers, students and psychiatrists about this subject.
A qualitative research method was used. I read special literature, and the prinsipal at Nordvoll (ASD-school), two teachers, a psychiatrist and seven AS-children were interviewed.
My informants and the theoreticians agree that:1. Individual evaluation of each child is necessary before school attendance. 2. There are great challenges concerning school integration, especially because of socially inappropriate behavior. 3. A supporting teacher is useful.4. Good communication between the school and the families is important.5. Physicians should elucidate the characteristics of the AS-patient thouroughly and be a guide for the school and the parents.
There is currently no consensus whether AS-students always should start in an ordinary school or not. The child and its family should be a part of this decision. Clearer guidelines are needed. Some scientists say AS-children can develop a relationsship with normal children, but my informants disagree. More research on ASD is needed, because clinical characteristics among patients with the same diagnosis are often very different.