I just want friends: a ‘relational wellbeing’ approach to providing school support for a young person with Asperger syndrome

  • Leigh Burrows
Keywords: wellbeing relational holistic Asperger Syndrome teachers


Vulnerable young people with impairments in their capacity to relate to others, such as those with Asperger syndrome, present a particular challenge to education professionals, schools and systems. Their social and behavioural patterns tend to place them at odds with school structures and staff expectations thus increasing the risk of exclusion (Swayne & Fielding n.d.). School and systemic responses may need to be tailored to individual needs in complex cases. This paper uses a case study of a young person diagnosed with Asperger syndrome to explore how an intervention incorporating the student’s own ideas and insights into how his wellbeing at school could be improved contributed to an improvement in his capacity for social interaction as well as a significant reduction in his aggressive behaviour over a two-year period.