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Should Professors with Invisible Disabilities, Such as Asperger’s, Reveal Them to Their Students?

First Day of Class Reflections on Teaching

Should Professors with Invisible Disabilities, Such as Asperger’s, Reveal Them to Their Students?

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Asperger’s syndrome is a high-functioning autism spectrum condition in which individuals tend to lack empathy with others, appear unengaged in discussions, speak in a monotone, limit eye contact, fail to connect names with faces, display some clumsiness, and maintain an excessive focus on favorite topics. They want connections with people but find it very difficult to attain them. Such characteristics are not amenable to great college instruction. Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that Asperger’s affects between 1 and 2 percent of the population, it is suspected that professoriate has a greater percentage due to its research focus and the greater mathematical ability needed in fields such as economics, engineering, and science.

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