Author(s)

Sarah Dubin

Date Approved

8-12-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Learning Disabilities

Department

Language, Literacy, and Special Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, S Jay

Subject(s)

English language--Rhetoric;Asperger's syndrome

Disciplines

Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

This study involved research into the experience of college-level writing for students with Asperger's syndrome/ASD. Three research questions were addressed: what are the specific challenges students with Asperger's face with college-level writing, what has been done to help support and remediate these issues so far, and what could be done in the future to support students with Asperger's in their writing assignments? Surveys were administered to the students with Asperger's syndrome at Rowan University who have self-registered, and to the faculty who teach required college composition classes to undergraduates. Results indicate that the students find the aspects of writing related to executive functioning to be the most challenging, including organization of thoughts, structuring their writing, and staying on topic. More concrete aspects such as spelling and grammar/syntax were generally considered easier. Results from faculty indicate that there is a need for a greater understanding of how Asperger's might impact the learning experience for their students, and they are interested in learning more about what types of assistance would be most beneficial to offer.

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