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Adolescence challenges in teenagers with Asperger's syndrome

Urška Celarc (2022) Adolescence challenges in teenagers with Asperger's syndrome. MSc thesis.

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    Autism spectrum disorders (hereinafter ASD) are developmental-neurological disorders characterized by social deficits, communication disorders and narrowly and rigidly directed interests (Maček, 2011 in Kržišnik and Battelino). The spectrum itself also includes Asperger's syndrome (hereinafter AS), whose condition significantly affects communication skills, social interactions, sensory perception, and interests during adolescence. In this paper, we determined to what how and to what extent the characteristics of AS affect the daily lives of adolescents with a named diagnosis. We were interested in how favorable the school environment is for them and the impact of the diagnosis on the adolescent's family. We found out to what extent adolescents face anxiety or depressive states and to what extent adolescents and adolescents with AS are similar. Two male adolescents and two female adolescents diagnosed with AS were included in the purposefully selected sample. All participants were attending one of the high school programs in Slovenia. A dramatic art specialist to help people with autism spectrum disorders, also took part in the research alongside the parents of three adolescents with AS. We interviewed each of the participants individually, and then presented all the interviews alongside their connections to the theoretical starting points. We found that all students face deficits in social interaction as well as social communication, as confirmed by their parents and a dramatic arts specialist. The participants lives are intertwined with their personal special interests, which do not significantly hinder their functioning. Problems with sensory hypersensitivity remain only with touching and with the perception of temperature and pain. These problems are not as prominent as they were in their childhoods. Anxiety was experienced by all adolescents in various forms. Depressive states were experienced by two participants, a male and female student. We detected the occurrence of mental disorders, deficits in the field of social interaction and communication, and various sensory hypersensitivity in all adolescents. We noticed that the female students recognized the problems in these areas and have pointed them out, while the male students did not report or even denied having problems, however their parents pointed those problems out. Generally, parents accepted their children's diagnoses and have also presented their experiences with prejudices towards their children. They emphasized the importance of a positive school climate and the willingness of the professional team and teachers to cooperate, help and support young people in the secondary education process. During the period of growing up, various institutions and clubs for helping people with autism spectrum disorders also play such an important role, which makes a key contribution to the inclusion of individuals with AS and offers help to both adolescents and their parents.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: autism spectrum disorders, Asperger syndrome, adolescence, social skills, communication skills
    Number of Pages: 56
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Janez JermanMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/109639683
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 7203
    Date Deposited: 30 May 2022 13:19
    Last Modified: 30 May 2022 13:19
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/7203

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