Today, a great many educators in the United States are familiar with the characteristic symptoms of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders, also commonly referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) - most notably Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.
For most, there is an understanding that goes beyond the purely theoretical in regards to these diagnoses. Direct experience, for which there is no replacement, has equipped teachers with skills sufficient to recognize the telltale signs of an ASD when confronted with it in real-world classroom settings. When a student presents with: impaired social skills; deficits in communication; stereotyped interests and/or behaviors; oft rigid thinking; an inordinate desire for sameness; and hypersensitivities to light, sound, and/or touch, many a teacher woking in today's schools will say to him or herself, "I know what this is."
Publication: SEEN SouthEast Education Network (http://www.seenmagazine.us/articles/article-detail/articleid/1659/awareness-of-autism-spectrum-disorders-puts-educators-at-the-halfway-mark.aspx)
Date: August 9, 2011