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Published: April 27, 2010

HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) — If there is a single phrase Hernando Middle School teacher Cherie Fowler could pick to describe the differences in the education her students face as opposed to the rest of the student body it would be, “fair is not always equal.”

Fowler is the Asperger/autism inclusion teacher at Hernando Middle. The students in the program she began two years ago attend the same academic classes as general education students. However, others may see the assistance given these students — who are often academically gifted but suffer from social deficits — as making school easier for them.

Fowler’s students are allowed to type assignments others would have to write by hand. They are allowed the use of other assistance devices and some assignments can be shortened.

Each student is still required to have passing grades and meet all the state of Mississippi benchmarks for their grade level. It’s their job to stay on par academically and it is her job to do everything possible to help them get through the day.

What the extra assistance does, Fowler said, is level the playing field.

“For a student with Asperger syndrome, making it through an eight-hour school day is like working 48 hours straight for the average adult,” Fowler said.

Read More:  http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2010/04/27/autisticstudentplayingfield_ap.html



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