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This article was originally published as:

Shields, M. (2015). Transition to tertiary: Building bridges in secondary school, making it work for young people with Asperger's syndrome. Proceedings of the Australian Association of Special Education National Conference. Special Education Perspectives, 24(1), 7-14.

ISSN: 1038 6475


130106 Secondary Education| 130312 Special Education and Disability

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Transitioning from high school to university is a major step for most young people but for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) the difficulties are exacerbated by facets of the disability. This paper reviews some of the specific difficulties for highly intelligent young people with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) who would like to undertake tertiary study. It also considers solutions suggested in the literature and the experience of one small private tertiary provider in meeting the needs of a student (whom we shall name Joshua) undertaking a BSc who had been diagnosed with quite severe Asperger’s syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A case study method involving interviews with ‘Joshua’, his mother, several peers including a student tutor, current and past lecturers as well as in-class observations was used. This approach enabled the identification of particular issues for Joshua, which together with the effective, practical solutions that were developed and implemented, assisted in achieving a successful outcome for both the student and provider.


Used by permission: Australian Association of Special Education (AASE)

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