Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP
Diane L. Smallwood, Psy.D., Chairperson
Daniel H. Ingram, Psy.D.
Emily Chernioff, Psy.D.
The complex nature of Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) often results in difficulty effectively meeting the needs of individuals with this disorder. Despite advancements in research and increasing focus on this disorder, limited awareness and understanding often result in difficulty identifying and, therefore, adequately supporting individuals with AS. Inadequate or faulty treatment further results from inappropriate diagnosis or failure to recognize psychiatric disorders likely to coexist with AS. This paper provides a literature review of AS and problems resulting from limited awareness, failure to identify or diagnose the disorder, failure to recognize common comorbid conditions, and failure to provide the appropriate supports and services. A description of the research study is presented, along with ethical and multicultural considerations. Finally, recommendations for future research and implications for practitioners are presented. The purpose of the present study was to assess school psychologists’ knowledge and perceptions related to this disorder. Related purposes included assessing levels of knowledge of teachers and professionals working with students with AS, as well as to determine what supports and services are afforded to them. This information was obtained through a survey, which was distributed to a sample of school psychologists. The results of the research study revealed that, whereas school psychologists view themselves as having sufficient knowledge about Asperger’s syndrome, they view many other educational professionals, including general education teachers, as lacking adequate knowledge about the disorder. Another major finding was that, despite student needs in the social, emotional, and communication domains, school psychologists reported that a large number of students were not receiving counseling or speech-language therapy.
Herman, Kelly L., "The Complex Nature of Asperger’s Syndrome: Assessing Knowledge and Perceptions of School Psychologists" (2011). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 158.