Can anyone recommend some ESL material made for a student with Asperger syndrome?

A little backstory. Last month, I was leaving the lunch room at my school and noticed a student I had never seen before. I thought it was weird because I’ve been here awhile and I thought I knew all the students. I went over to chat with the student, and the teacher she was with explained to me that she has Asperger syndrome and rarely wants to leave the special education room. Having minored in special education, I tried my best to make her feel welcome despite the language barrier.
Fast forward to today, and I was approached by the special education teacher. She told me the student had requested to start attending my class, which I’m told is very out of the ordinary for her. When she attended my class earlier today, I could see she was really trying her best to write and participate in the lesson.
I really want her to succeed in my class, but I can’t find any ESL material that has instructions in Korean and is also made for special needs students. I’m hoping someone out there might be able to point me in the right direction.



I read your post a few days ago but did not reply since I was busy with other things. However, I have been keeping your words in mind due to your kindness and passion for helping the kid out. I am sorry to hear that you can’t find any ESL materials for special needs students.

Currently, the educational systems in the US and European countries do include and have favor in children who have special needs. However, they both do not serve ESL classes, implying that it is most unlikely to find the exact materials you need in the US. So it is most likely that you have to design your materials for the kid by observing her studying habits and knowing about her interests.

Considering the above situation, I have a few points that might help you have a framework about helping the kid with “Asperger Syndrome.”

First of all, the kids who have “Asperger Syndrome” usually do not have intellectual and speaking issues. Still, they need to learn how to interact with people. So it is also called “high functioning autism” and falls into the autistic spectrum. More and more children and adults have been diagnosed with very mild, mild, middle, and severe autistic symptoms in the US and European countries in recent years. Many kids are diagnosed to have autism and giftedness (it appears to the two characters usually blending), which is also called 2e (twice-exceptional) kids. They could be brilliant in one or more subjects, while it is hard for them to follow a teacher’s instruction and get along well with their peers. They need help from their teachers and parents to meet social standards. I am extending the concept to you since I think it might help you find accurate and more advanced information. For example, if the search result is not very rewarding when you use the key phrase “Asperger Syndrome,” you might use “high-functioning autism.”

Second, I would love to recommend the book “Twice-exceptional Gifted Children” by Beverly A. Trail, Ed.D. From its name, maybe it is not the book to meet your requirements, while it is assumed to give you many good concepts on how to understand better, teach and lead the children in particular need. As we know, knowledge flows. Moreover, I hope the following links would also give you some help.

Useful links

Foreign Languages and Autism

Autistic Spectrum Disorders and learning foreign languages (PDF)

To Be or Not to Be Bilingual: Autistic Children from Multilingual Families (PDF)

Dean’s Autism Website

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck and have a good day,



I have observed in students with autism / Asperger’s syndrome that there can be difficulties with actually speaking the foreign language the student is learning. The students may suffer with the problem of mutism. The best way to counteract this is to learn by a very active method that involves a lot of repeat-after-me speaking practice. Students may also need to learn in a relaxed environment where that is without excess stress or pressure, which could cause a mind blank (forgetting your words). Finally, I suggest students establish a daily routine for their language learning. If actually speaking the foreign language is a problem, some insights about this are here:


Hi Jade, thank you very much for joining our community and for sharing your resources. I’ve checked your website and have watched some of your videos and find both your background as well as your way of teaching very valuable. Maybe we can find a way of working together?


Hi Torsten, I replied in an email message but it got rejected so maybe you didn’t see my response. I would be very interested in collaborating. I don’t teach exams but I see you have some tests that my students may be interested in taking. Please feel free to email me if you have any collaboration idea s or suggestions.

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