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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Gifted Homeschooling -- Twice Exceptional
Resources for Specific Disabilities

Aspergers Syndrome (AS) in Gifted Children
aka Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
aka Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
aka High Functioning Autism (HFA)

by Julie Shepherd knapp, copyright 2006

Many children with ASD are low-functioning, but those diagnosed with
Aspergers Syndrome can be highly intelligent.  While
Aspergers is not
classified as a learning disability, it is a disorder that impacts learning.  
Children with this disorder show serious impairment in understanding and
using non-verbal communication, and in learning social skills.  They may
speak and read at an early age but have difficulty with language
comprehension and usage, and interpret information very literally.  

There can be a misdiagnosis of Aspergers in gifted children who are
socially awkward or just a little "quirky" because the diagnosis is based
entirely on behavioral observation, not test results.  On the other hand,
some gifted children may not meet the behavioral criteria of "significant
impairment" required for an Aspergers diagnosis, but may have enough of
the symptoms that they would benefit from educational and behavioral
strategies designed to help those with Aspergers.

If you are wondering if your gifted child might have aspergers, or just "how
quirky" a child must be to be diagnosed with aspergers, take a look at the
two websites below.  They have diagnostic scales that may help you decide
if it is as issue you might need to look into.

Two websites specialize in Aspergers Syndrome --
O.A.S.I.S. and Tony Attwood's website.  Both sites present diagnostic
criteria/scales, but note their differing descriptions of "What is Aspergers?"
Tony Attwood presents a much more positive view in his discussion.  

Some Information on Aspergers and Gifted Children

Gifted Children with Aspergers from the Davidson Institute

The misdiagnosis of highly gifted children as having Aspergers, from
Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)

"The Geek Syndrome" - Aspergers diagnosis is on the rise in "Silicon
Valley", the computer industry center located in California

The "Knack" -- short video clip, engineer humor ;-)

Teaching strategies and educational needs of children with Aspergers:
(also helpful for children who are "just a bit Aspie")

The Discovery of  "Aspie" Criteria by Attwood and Gray -- to find this
wonderfully positive article, click on "Publications" in the upper menu, then
"Books by Tony Attwood" then "Books and Resouce Papers by Tony".
Scroll down to "archived papers authored by tony et al" and click on the
title -- "The Discovery of “Aspie” Criteria".  
Here is a quote: "...the change from [the label] Asperger’s Syndrome to
"aspie" holds interesting implications and opportunities. It could result in
typical people rethinking their responses and rescuing a missed
opportunity to take advantage of the contribution of aspies to culture and

The Son-Rise Program -- from the Autism Treatment Center of America,  
"...your child may be highly verbal with a high I.Q. while experiencing huge
struggles socially—but we see a child who can learn to look into another
person's eyes with shared joy, laugh at jokes, find diverse interests and
become truly successful at building meaningful friendships..""

All Things Aspergers -- a website by a person diagnosed with
aspergers.  Includes an online book club for parents!

Tammy Glaser's "Aut" to be Home - a website, support group, and "blog
ring" for bloggers who homeschool children with autism, plus lists of other
resources and support groups

Gifted-NLD-AS -- a Yahoo! support group for parents of gifted children
with either Aspergers or Non-Verbal Learning Disorder

As You Like It -- a Yahoo! Group for families with Asbergers

Visit the Homeschool Diner's general Aspergers page
for more resources and support groups
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