Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

General Honors

First Advisor

Dr. Donna Begley

Second Advisor

Dr. Bridget Dalton

Third Advisor

Dr. Rolf Norgaard

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Paul Strom

Abstract

General education placement is believed to be the best option for educating students with Asperger’s syndrome (AS)—or High Functioning Autism—but has been debated within the fields of education and psychology. This thesis starts with a brief history of AS and common comorbidities, then addresses the mandates and policies that govern special education, which leads to the main research about successful practices for students with AS both within a general education classroom and those from specialty schools. This thesis examines the practices created for students with AS and determine whether those practices can be extrapolated to education in general. Through an extensive literature review of both psychological studies and educational theories and practices, I determined that strategies designed for students with AS can and should be applied to all mainstream classrooms. Students with AS have a lot to offer to educators and by capitalizing on their strengths and common strategies to help them, all education can be improved. This research shows us that social skills training, and well-designed classrooms can be helpful for all students, regardless of whether they have a learning disability. Implications for future teacher education and best practices to include in all classrooms are discussed.