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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Online Asperger Syndrome information & Support

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 4.9 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.9 stars
Reviewed: Jul 25, 2003 by Teacher Education
Overview: This site offers support resources for parents, teachers, and parents dealing
with children/students who have Asperger Syndrome. Sections of the Web site are
as follows: bookstore, help support OASIS, important news, message boards, what
is AS?, papers and articles, education, support groups, international support,
diagnostic scales, related disorders, social skills, schools and camps, adult
issues, conferences, clinicians, research projects, newsletters, publicity,
legal resources, software, kids' corner, family matters, other AS pages, other
autism pages, just for fun, disclaimer, and Webrings.
Learning Goals: The major learning goal of the site is to provide users with a plethora of
information regarding Asperger Syndrome. Users who are beginning or expert
learners in the area of Asperger Syndrome will be able to advance their
knowledge of this field. They will be able to access links to organizations,
resources, and additional materials to assist them in learning about persons
with this particular disability and/or related disabilities.
Target Student Population: This site would be invaluable for families who have a member with Asperger
Syndrome. Teachers in training, particularly those in special education, should
be aware of this site not only for their own education, but to be able to share
with concerned others.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A somewhat sophisticated knowledge of Web navigation is required to use this
site. So much is included, it would be easy to become lost. Very little
content knowledge/skill is needed to access the site or its links. The site
offers information as basic as ?what is AS?? to advanced information on laws,
organizations, related disabilities, adult and/or child issues, and schools and
camps for persons with AS.
Type of Material: Reference
Recommended Uses: Higher education faculty could use this site as an introduction to Asperger
Syndrome and as a reference point for subsequent assignments.
Technical Requirements: None. Links to outside sources may include additional requirements. All major
links appear to be in working order.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.9 stars
Strengths: This is an extremely comprehensive site on Asperger Syndrome. This site
provides extensive resources, links, and related materials. These include
information on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs); laws; related
disabilities such as learning disabilities, pervasive developmental
disabilities, Tourette Syndrome, and ADHD; organizations; conferences; articles;
information on assistive technology; paperwork; and homeschooling. The purpose
of the site is to provide a broad array of general strategies and resources to
assist educators or others in meeting the needs of, and working with, persons
who have Asperger Syndrome. It is equally beneficial for persons with AS, those
who are family members, and those who are learning about the Syndrome itself.
Concerns: In many cases, the sources of information are not documented.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site could be extremely effective in teacher training or in parent/family
education. Instructors could use it as a source for students to access as they
familiarize themselves with the issues related to persons with this particular
type of disability. The sheer number of links, sites, and resources is
impressive. There are a variety of products identified that may be of use to
interested students and instructors (as well as parents, administrators, etc).
General and special education teaching majors could access this site to learn
about general strategies for working with students with AS in core content
areas.
Concerns: None.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.9 stars
Strengths: This site is relatively simple to negotiate. All text is easily readable.
Links within the site all work logically. The user can maneuver within the site
without getting lost, if familiar with sites having multiple links to multiple
Web pages. Previous, Menu, and Next buttons are very helpful for navigation
within the site. Some of the links provided are to major organizations that will
be of great benefit to users. The major categories appear on the left side of
the screen and are easy to use for those who are novice Web browsers.
Concerns: The navigational map could be laid out more clearly so that new users to the Web
don't become disoriented in the vast amount of information. There is so much
information that it easy to get overwhelmed.

Other Issues and Comments: While this site has won numerous awards, it is not Bobby approved. Because it
is presented in frames, it is likely that many individuals with sensory
impairments will not be able to access it. Excellent resource overall!
Comments from Author: It's important to point out that I am not affliated with the University of Delaware. They donate the space as a public service. I have a mirror site at www.aspergersyndrome.org and eventually everything will move off the UD server and on to the www.aspergersyndrome.org address. At this point in time either URL works.