Dont Surprise Your Autistic Students With Changes
As previously mentioned, children with autism thrive on routine. A simple change in that routine even one that might be considered a fun surprise for other children could be catastrophic. When a change in routine is planned or likely to take place, simply forewarn the autistic student so that she can begin to prepare herself. Examples of change might include new seating assignments, a fire drill, or a field trip.
Learn About The Learner From The Learner
Oftentimes, educators needing information about a student will study the individuals educational records. While these documents are certainly one source of information, they are seldom the most helpful source of information. Teachers wanting to know more about a student with autism should ask that student to provide information. Some students will be quite wiling and able to share information while others may need coaxing or support from family members. Teachers might ask for this information in a myriad of ways. For instance, they might ask the student to take a short survey or sit for an informal interview. One teacher asked his student with autism, to create a list of teaching tips that might help kids with learning differences. The teacher then published the guide and gave it out to all educators in the school.
If the student with autism is unable to communicate in a reliable way, teachers can go to families for help. Parents can share the teaching tips they have found most useful in the home or provide video of the learner engaged in different family and community activities. These types of materials tend to give educators ideas that are more useful and concrete than do traditional educational reports and assessments.
And Finally Develop Your Own Coping Strategies
When we work with autistic students, we often encourage them to find strategies to look after their own wellbeing. But we often forget to consider our own.
I recently told an audience
If youre not worrying about your students on the drive home, youre not doing your job right.
It was a very tongue-in-cheek way of saying that our job is so important that we cant pretend we can forget about it the moment we walk out the door. But at the same time, the compassion we feel for our students, if left unchecked, can lead to issues for ourselves.
Im under no illusions about how emotionally connected I am to my work. I have a long history of lying awake at 2am hoping my kids will be alright when they become adults. This is just a natural consequence of caring it only becomes problematic when we dont have healthy ways of addressing how we feel. Personally Ive always had strong relationships with senior staff as well as having private therapy to explore my mental adventures as well. This works for me.
Despite this article being mostly about my teaching, its only one of my jobs . Running Autistic Not Weird and also takes its share of my energy. And I came to realise how vulnerable I was a few years ago when a follower sent me a video of a man killing himself, as punishment for me not responding to her email for three days .
Tips For Mainstreaming Children With Autism
As educators become more aware of how to support children with autism spectrum disorder , mainstreaming high-functioning students in general classrooms is becoming more common.
Autism is a disorder that has many varying levels, so no two ASD students behave the same. While teachers cannot completely rearrange their classes and schedule for one student, they can make these five adjustments to accommodate an autistic child in order to support their success.
Remain Calm During Even The Worst Behavior
It is important to remember that children on the autism spectrum do not melt down to cause a disturbance. Rather, they melt down because all of their senses are in turmoil and its the only thing to do. As a teacher, the best thing for you to do is to remain a calming and supportive presence. The world during a meltdown is already terrifying the child doesnt need a panicking or angry teacher to add to it.
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Making A Big Difference
If you are teaching students on the autism spectrum in any capacity, you can see more positive results with a bit of planning.
Be clear, empathetic, and consistent. These are valuable qualities to have in any teaching environment, but they are particularly important when working with students on the autism spectrum.
Adapt your classroom to provide the optimal learning environment for students with special needs. Small changes can make a big difference.
Finally, utilize autistic teaching strategies to foster a positive and productive learning experience for everyone involved.
While teaching autistic students isnt often as straightforward as teaching neurotypical students, the growth youll see will be well worth the effort.
Like All Kids Children With Autism Have Strengths And Weaknesses
As is the case with any child in a classroom, those on the autism spectrum have their own strengths and weaknesses. Some may be excellent with memorization, but struggle with reading and sounding out words phonetically. Teachers should be prepared for a child to struggle with subjects to varying degrees .
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All Students With Asd Need Educational Adjustments
Although there are a number of strategies which have been proven to be successful, a careful analysis of the pupils learning needs must have taken place to understand how ASD will affect each individual pupils perspective, motivation and preferred ways of working.
There are no two people with ASD who will be exactly alike.
Therefore, it is imperative for educators to develop effective intervention strategies for students with ASD. The following strategies can be applied to students with ASD of all ages, across a range of settings . However, the particular emphasis in this article is on those strategies which can be implemented by teachers and support personnel in the inclusive classroom.
Overall, most students with ASD will benefit from a structured and explicitly outlined teaching approach with clear expectations . Structure and predictability can reduce anxiety and stress and, in some cases, challenging behaviour . Students with autism also need structure and clarity in the presentation of tasks, in timetables and in the learning environment. This structured teaching approach needs to be supported, where appropriate, by visual materials.
Teach To The Students Abilities And Interests
Autisticchildren, like all children, need to feel familiar and comfortable in theirsurroundings. This can take time, so dont embark on your teaching withoutample and appropriate preparation, says Tonya Roman, a teacher at Academic Brits and the Ph.D. Kingdom.
After educating yourself about the child, make sure to identify their strengths, weaknesses, skills, interests, and obsessions. Factor this knowledge into your classroom approach to give them the best learning opportunities. Knowing things they like may help in providing positive rewards. Knowing things they dislike may help in avoiding meltdowns.
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Autistic Children In The Mainstream Classroom
I have already developed a research question and interview guide. My question is: Are teachers in the elementary classrooms proponents of inclusion for autistic children in the mainstream classroom?
Date of Interview:Length of Interview:
Question:1. Do you think autistic children should be in the mainstream classroom for the entire day?
2. How is the best way to serve autistic children?
3. What are some of the activities you do in a mainstream classroom that includes autistic children easily?
4. What are some of the changes you make to your assignments and/or activities for autistic children?
5.Autism varies in degree for children. How do you work to include all types of autistic children?
I made up the interview questions and guide but it may need help also. my assisgnment is to do the following:
Develop a list of criteria/rubric to evaluate your interviewing skills. Be sure to define and explain each element of your rubric and support your criteria/rubric with appropriate references to our course readings.
Using your rubric, complete a formative self-evaluation for the interview exercise. Please bear in mind that your self-evaluation for this exercise is just as important as your interview performance.
Please submit one document containing the following elements for this assignment:
Teach Students About Historical Figures With Autism
Although the disorder wasnt discovered until the twentieth-century, people with autism have made important contributions to history, and its important to educate students about themnot just in April but throughout the year. Here are a few well-known figures who are diagnosed with or believed to have had autism to get you started:
- Greta Thunberg
- Emily Dickinson
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How Do Autistic Children Learn Differently From Other Children
Here our expert staff highlight the different teaching methods autistic children need: Pupils with autism require bespoke multi disciplinary packages which include therapeutic support to help them to engage with learning. They need predictable environments with structure and high levels of routine along with packages of social learning and interaction.
Our experts highlighted the importance of specialist teaching: The curriculum needs to be compensatory developed with an understanding of the triad of impairment, sensory processing issues and psychological theories to make it meaningful. Many pupils are highly visual learners and require instruction to be given in this manner.
Without these individualised supports across the school environment it is highly unlikely that a pupil with autism will make the academic and social progress that they should.
Steve is a blogger and was diagnosed with autism at the age of 48. He is also a tutor at the National Autistic Society. He highlights the difficulty he finds when communicating with others: I really dont understand people. Its like not being able to connect with whats going on around you, its like Im on one planet and the rest of the world is on another.
Steve highlighted the difficulty autistic children may face at school: Verbal instruction is almost impossible, its like the words come towards me and then they disappear before I get the chance to process them so it makes it really hard at work.
School Context: Including Students With Intellectual Disabilities
Special-education classroom often gathers students with various conditions they are mostly students with ASD and students with non-specific ID . When introducing an assistive technology in special-education classroom, researchers often include both populations in their field studies. For example, Mechling proposed a literature review of assistive technologies for students with ID, which also included students with ASD. Similarly to students with ASD, students with ID exhibit limited cognitive functioning as well as limited socio-adaptive behaviors , resulting in very limited social participation . However, authors reported that socio-adaptive behaviors were more limited with ASD population compared with ID population.
Mobile assistive technologies offer opportunities to support individuals with ID in their daily life. Specifically, such tools mainly support communication and daily life activities. New technologies allowed classical paper-based pictograms used to communicate basic needs to be enriched with synthetic voices such devices are referred to as Speech-Generating Devices . A recent meta-analysis reported the relevance of SGD-based intervention to improve communication of individuals with ID . This population can also benefit from sequencing activities into successive illustrated steps . Previous reviews revealed promising results for individuals with ID to benefit from interventions based on handheld devices to improve their communication and daily life skills .
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Typical Private Schools And Autistic Learners
Private school. Small classes. Individualized attention. Terrific resources. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But the truth is unless your child with autism is extremely high functioning and socially competent or you have a very unusual situation, most private schools will not accept your child.
Unlike public schools, private schools are under no legal obligation to educate your child. And few typical private schools are well-prepared to handle any kind of special need.
Of course, it is always possible that your local community has a special private offering, such as a co-op school or an alternative learning center, which is appropriate for your child. And it is certainly possible that your child with autism will develop the skills needed to attend a small private high school. But all of the pieces need to be in place for a typical private school to be a viable option.
Form A Relationship With The Parent
Everybody connected with the child must be working on the same team to maximize successes. That means the teacher and parents should support each other and facilitating each others requirements.
While parents will want to connect, they might not always know-how. If your school uses an app or email system, make use of it to stay in contact with the parents. Let them know you are wanting to best support their child. You can also use this as a wat to ask questions, such as what works best at home to keep their child motivated.
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Use Down Time As A Positive Reinforcer
As previously mentioned, a child on the autism spectrum has senses that work overtime providing him with untrustworthy information. As you can probably imagine, this is completely exhausting. When an autistic child has met the standards set for her, allow her the reward of down time. This could be as simple as sitting in the corner with a book and headphones for 10 minutes. Allow the child to relax.
Impact Of Autism On A Students Life
Every person on the autism spectrum is unique and their needs will be reflected differently.
Challenges experienced interacting socially and communicating with others are common among students on the spectrum, and will have an impact on every aspect of their lives.
These challenges can lead to levels of stress, anxiety and depression that are much higher than for other students. Up to 72% of students on the autism spectrum have additional mental health needs.
Classrooms are social environments that rely heavily on being able to interact, socialise and communicate with others effectively. This can intensify the stress, anxiety and depression students on the spectrum may experience.
This can present unique challenges for schools and teachers, with students on the spectrum being four times more likely than their peers to require additional learning and social support services.
Research shows the importance of understanding the link between academic learning and social and emotional competence.
A lack of social-emotional competence can lead to not only a decrease in a students connection with school, but also academic performance.
This reinforces the notion that social-emotional learning has a critical role to play in learning, as well as in school attendance, classroom behaviour, and academic engagement for all students.
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Not A Good Match For The Child’s Needs
In some cases, what looks at first like an adequate educational program really isn’t. A child with huge sensory and behavioral issues is never going to do well in a mainstream setting. A child with high functioning autism is not going to thrive in a classroom filled with profoundly challenged kids.
In those fairly extreme cases, it’s often possible to make a case for change on your own or through an advocate or mediator. Frequently, districts will see the problem and make changes based on your child’s individual needs.
Design And Statistical Treatments
To measure the efficacy of the School+ intervention, three mixed MANOVAs have been conducted with two within factors and one between factor according to the studied measures as follows: first, socio-cognitive functioning measures, second an adaptive behavior measures in school context and third, social response measures in school context. For each MANOVA, the between factor was Group, which had three levels . The first within factor was Time, which had two levels . The second within factor differed according to the studied measures, as follows: first, for the socio-cognitive functioning measure, it referred to four domains measures , and second for the adaptive behaviors measure, it referred to the five domains of EQCA-VS: Communication, Social skills, Autonomy, School skills, and Leisure).
If a significant interaction between group and time is observed, then partial MANOVA per group was performed on the socio-cognitive measures, or those for adaptive behavior. And Time comparisons were then performed on each dimension of measures .
If an interaction effect was reported between the three factors , partial analyses were conducted to assess intervention benefits across time with respect to group conditions. If an interaction effect was reported between the two factors , comparisons were conducted for each group to capture differential effects of Time factor on each measure .
FIGURE 3. Flowchart of statistical analysis.
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Music For Reviewing Learned Concepts
Music enhances learning and memory retention. Many research studies over the years have tried to explore this phenomenon and describe it better.
If you go on Youtube, youll find a massive amount of music videos that use simple songs and rhyme to help children memorize mathematical facts and basic principles.
If the child enjoys listening to childrens songs then feel free to introduce songs that teach mathematics in their daily life.
An advantage of this approach is that the child will learn unintentionally while it plays, eats, or simply enjoys their daily activities.
Managing Changes In Routine
Changes to routines are inevitable within classrooms and students do need to learn to cope with change. However, they need specific strategies within an autism-friendly environment to cope with change.
Specific strategies that can support students to manage changes in routine include:
- If possible, avoid sudden changes
- Provide as much advanced warning of change as possible through visual representation. This may include a reminder of an upcoming event or change written on the board or a photo of the setting for an excursion coming up or a supply teacher coming in
- Prepare the student for change by discussing it in advance using a Social Narrative such as a Social Story
- Provide a reason for the change and explain exactly what will happen and what is expected of the students
- Students should be warned of any changes in routine for the day during the early morning class routine. Changes can be indicated on the visual timetable by placing a not visual on the activity concerned or preferably by removing the visual and replacing it with something else. Do remember to remind students of what is not going to change, such as all the other activities, the classroom and break times.
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