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Research in Secondary Schools

ISBN: 978-0-76231-107-1, eISBN: 978-1-84950-270-2

Publication date: 1 August 2004


The transition from elementary to secondary school involves major changes for students that are reflected socially, academically, and environmentally. Increased emphasis on social interactions, school procedures, and academics make high school potentially stressful. For students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), these new academic and social challenges may be particularly anxiety-producing as they reluctantly leave familiar surroundings and friends and transition to high school.

Many of the characteristics of students with ASD may be incompatible with the demands of life in high school. This paper examines the skills that are required for students to be successful in high school and compares them to the skills of many adolescents with ASD. Following a description of individuals with autism spectrum disorder, the paper presents an overview of curriculum analysis and possible curricular changes to assist these students in high school. To enhance the support of the curriculum, subsequent information in this chapter includes the use of visual supports and the implementation of technology. Additional strategies are then presented including information on peer tutoring, and the use of social scripts and social stories. The final section discusses components of high school that may prove challenging, such as block scheduling and the use unstructured time. It concludes with a description of the effective secondary teacher and a look at future directions for this topic.


Graetz, J.E. (2004), "MAKING THE GRADE: PROMOTING SUCCESS OF SECONDARY STUDENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS", Scruggs, T.E. and Mastropieri, M.A. (Ed.) Research in Secondary Schools (Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 123-145.



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