What is the triad of impairments and how can parents work with schools to help overcome them?

The triad of impairments

In addition to the core impairments of the triad, many students with Asperger syndrome will have difficulties with fine and gross motor co-ordination and organisational skills. They can also be affected by underlying fears and phobias, often (but not always) related to sensory sensitivities. These can have a significant effect on their behaviour, and the impact of fears and phobias on daily life should not be underestimated. 

Working with parents

Our experience shows that transition is most successful where there is good communication between parents and school. Parents usually have experience of successful strategies that have helped their children in the past. Their unique knowledge is a valuable resource.

Some successful examples of ways of sharing with parents include:

  • Having a named adult for the student to approach when in difficulty. When appropriate this information should be shared with other members of staff. Parents can communicate with this adult via email or contact book.
  • A book where the student can record daily personal worries and incidents (eg bullying, friendships, likes and dislikes) would give instant feedback to SENCo and staff.
  • Parents liaising directly with SENCo through email, contact book or telephone.
  • Regular planned meetings with the SENCo during the first term to discuss progress and concerns.


In the primary school, parents are generally used to daily contact with staff, and will need time to adjust to the greater independence expected at secondary school.