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Question 1


QUESTION:

I’m a mother to a young man called Henrique, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of 11. Taking into account his difficulties in understanding phrases with connotative meaning, which is a characteristic of the syndrome, I would like to know if, from your perspective, making adaptations to his school tests is an adequate measure.

ANSWER:

People with Asperger’s syndrome often find it difficult to integrate their comprehension of word and syntax with the circumstances around them, and are thus not always able to understand their interlocutor’s communicative intentions. Hence, they sometimes interpret what they hear or read concretely, and find it difficult to draw conclusions about things that have not been said outright.

The Swedish Education Act includes a stipulation saying that the teacher can make exceptions with regard to assessing a student’s knowledge, the so-called exception stipulation. Briefly summarised it says that the school should primarily provide support and tailoring so that the student is able to acquire the same knowledge as is taught to everyone else. If, even in spite of implemented modifications to the teaching process, the student’s disorder (which may be of a long-term or permanent variety) would prevent him/her from reaching the standardised knowledge requirements, the teacher may in accordance with the Education Act make exceptions and use modified testing methods and assessment models. Such measures should then be taken in consultation with the school headmaster.

All of this is based on the Swedish Education Act, so the situation may of course be completely different in other countries. Swedish speakers can read more about this via the following link: https://www.skolverket.se/bedomning/betyg/elever-med-funktionsnedsattning

GUNILLA WESTMAN ANDERSSON & CARMELA MINISCALCO

 

Page Manager: Anna Spyrou|Last update: 9/2/2017
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