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Book Review: Autism Spectrum Disorders in the College
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Chapters 5-7 provide “hands-on, tested pedagogical interventions for successfully integrating students with ASD in the composition classroom” (Gerstle & Walsh, 2011, p.10). Chapter 5, Channeling the Enthusiasm: Two Narratives of Teaching Students with Asperger’s Syndrome in Writing and Literature Classes, with Questions and Reflections, by Kim Freeman (2011), recounts her experiences with teaching two students with AS in her composition classroom. Freeman notes the lack of literature directed at how composition instructors can channel the enthusiasm of students with AS. She reflects on how her approach may have influenced the outcomes for the students and offers considerations for other composition instructors. Chapters 6 and 7 provide specific examples of incorporating cartoons and other imagery into the composition class as a way to engage the strengths of students with ASD.

Overall, Autism Spectrum Disorders in the College Composition Classroom: Making Writing Instruction More Accessible for all Students, provides some practical advice and suggestions for the college composition instructor or writing center administrator who is concerned with providing effective instruction for college students with ASD. The editors write that the collection was compiled not from the perspective of “disciplining ASD students to behave normally, rather… one in which the unique abilities of the ASD students can productively transform the traditional composition classroom” (Gerstle & Walsh, 2011, p.8). In this regard, the framework that is established by the editors may be the most transformative and informative aspect of the book.


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