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:
- Emily Dickinson
What Would You Do
For a take-home activity you can share with families, try this What Would You Do? game. Families can go through different scenarios together and decide how they would react with questions like How would you help? or What would you say?
This activity keeps social skills sharp and reinforces relationship-building skills.
How Do You Teach Students With Autism Spectrum
The number of students with autism is on the rise. So a deep understanding of the strategies and social skills needed to handle a class of autistic children is extremely important.
Listed are some tried and true strategies that will ensure every autistic child receives the best education possible.
These strategies apply to both the classroom and home environments.
Structure or routine is the name of the game when it comes to autism. Maintain the same daily routine, only making exceptions for special occasions. During such moments, place a distinct picture that depicts the days events in the child’s personal planner.
Design an environment free of stimulating factors:
a. Avoid playing loud background music as it makes it difficult for the autistic child to concentrate.
b. Eliminate stress because autistic children quickly pick up on negative emotions. So for example, if youre experiencing too much stress, leave the classroom until you feel better.
c. Maintain a low and clear voice when engaging the class. Students with autism get easily agitated and confused if a speaking voice is too loud.
d. Some autistic people find fluorescent lights distracting because they can see the flicker of the 60-cycle electricity. To mitigate this effect:
Place the child’s desk near the window or try to avoid using fluorescent lights altogether.
If the lights are unavoidable, use the newest bulbs you have as they flicker less.
Here are some statements you can recite on difficult days:
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Earn Your Teaching Credential Ms In Aba Or Graduate Certificate In Autism At National University
Whether your goal is to become a special education teacher, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, a school counselor for children with ASD, or to explore a related career path, youll hone the skills you need in National Universitys challenging, fast-paced degree programs.
Our accredited programs in school psychology, teacher education, and special education offer a wide range of academic options for undergraduate, graduate, and transfer students. NU students can pursue their passion through programs like the Master of Science in Educational Counseling, the Graduate Certificate in Autism, the MS in ABA, or other academic majors, combining theory and analysis with hands-on fieldwork to build the foundations for a rewarding and dynamic career.
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What Are Some Other Factors That Can Contribute To Learning Challenges
There are many conditions that have been linked to autism spectrum disorder. These conditions can affect a childs ability to focus and challenge the learning process. Here are some examples that are common:
- Sensory processing disorder – Balancing sensory stimuli can support students with autism spectrum disorder as they are focusing on their work
- Dyslexia- Alternative teaching methods, specifically designed for dyslexic students, can help them understand what they are reading in new ways
- Auditory processing disorder-verbal instructions can be switched out with visual aids
- Seizures-Making a child feel safe in an inclusive classroom can ease their mind and help them focus without worrying about what could happen
- Visual processing disorder-verbal instruction and manipulatives can drive the concept home more efficiently
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder distractions can make or break the way children learn.
Tailoring a childs curriculum to their needs is key. Teaching students in a way that helps them manage their own issues can empower and encourage children as they learn.
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Schedules & Take Home Charts
A picture schedule can be made using pictures of common activities in the childâs daily routine such as: getting dressed, brushing teeth, packing books into backpack etc.
These can be laminated or put into plastic sleeves and hung up in prominent areas such as around their bedroom door or above their bed for easy reference.
What Are Some Learning Struggles Common To Autism
Reading is one of the most common aspects students with autism struggle with. Not just the decoding of words, but comprehending what they are reading. Figurative language in a text can be confusing, as abstract concepts in conversations are sometimes a problem for children with autism.
Social skills can be difficult for many autistic children. Inclusive classrooms are often best, but can also require the students to work together in ways that may present a challenge. Deciphering facial expressions, making eye contact, and missing social cues can all be factors in an autistic childs ability to achieve success during required social interaction.
Special interests can be a blessing and a curse. If a childs special interests consume their mind, they may have trouble focusing on school work.
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Use Sensory Tools For Students With Autism
Perceiving the world more deeply and intensely is not a bad thing. Yes, most of the time its overwhelming considering that most sensory stimuli are optimized for individuals with typical development. However, now that researchers have better insight into how students with autism perceive the world, there are some recommendations and even products that optimize their sensory experience.
Sensory toys for students with autism represent a perfect example of how we can turn an obstacle into an opportunity. These toys help students with autism relax, calm down, decrease discomfort, and aid the development of social and executive skills.
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Tips For Meeting Autistic Students Educational Needs
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that affects how people respond to their environment behaviorally, socially and communicatively. Since there is a wide variety of ways this disorder manifests itself, people on different parts of that spectrum have different strengths and weaknesses. No matter where a child falls on the spectrum, however, parents must work with schools to ensure students receive the education they deserve and with an estimated 1 in 59 children diagnosed as autistic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many families need support.
This guide discusses the unique difficulties autistic students face and how educators can respond to them. In addition, advice is provided from autism experts and resources to help families with an ASD child.
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Instructional Strategies For Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Its important for teachers to understand that ASD is not a learning disability. Instead, autism spectrum disorder is categorized as a developmental disability. In contrast to learning disabilities like dyslexia, which are characterized by difficulty with language, mathematical calculation, and/or sustained focus, ASD is associated with symptoms like repetitive motions, difficulty socializing, and compulsive or ritualistic behaviors, which range in severity from child to child. Despite these distinctions, there is also significant overlap between ASD and learning disabilities, with Autism Speaks reporting, 31 percent of children with ASD have an intellectual disability.
Even though ASD is not considered a learning disability, it can still create challenges to academic success by impacting communication, socialization, and other key aspects of a childs behavior and development. However, educators can overcome these challenges by implementing effective academic strategies for students with autism, which weve supplied four examples of below.
Teaching Preschoolers With Autism
The three main concepts to teach autistic preschoolers are language, play skills and social interactions.It is important to use a childâs interests in order to catch their attention while teaching these topics which can be easily applied for example when teaching the concept of emotions you could talk about your childâs favourite character from a TV show or movie.
More visual strategies for teaching autistic children include visual cues and symbols that are effective in helping children understand concepts such as emotions or weather. These have been discussed in detail below.
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Calming Activities To Prevent Autism Meltdowns In Class
When students with autism are feeling overwhelmed, the intense response that they feel may cause them to lose control of their emotions. This is called an autism meltdown and is different from when students without autism act out in class. While the best strategy for autism meltdowns is to seek help from a school specialist, these calm down activities can help to de-escalate stressful situations.
Strategy #: Relationship Development Intervention
Relationship development intervention, or RDI, is a form of behavioral therapy that specifically emphasizes social behaviors, such as taking turns with other children, learning to interpret body language and facial expressions, or improving eye contact with others. In an RDI-based approach, a therapist sets certain goals for the child after assessing his or her needs. The family then works to help the child reach those goals, while receiving feedback from and maintaining communication with the therapist.
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Find Out As Much As You Can About Autism
Learn about autism and about your students specific challenges and requirements. Request training and if youre lucky enough to have had training already, share your knowledge with colleagues. Invite successful autistic role models, e.g. alumni or final year students, to share their experiences with staff. Get in touch with the experts from your universitys disability support team and discuss what further changes you can make to your teaching practice. Its worth exploring this in depth because they may be very personal to you and your subject area.
Children With Autism Will Never Achieve As Much As Their Peers
Students with autism have so much potential, and some of the brightest minds in the world have been people with autism spectrum disorder, including:
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Beloved poets, talented musicians and artists, and scientists who shaped how we see the world today have been included on lists of famous people with autism. Our communities would not be the same without people on the autism spectrum. While students with autism may have different weaknesses than their classmates, they often have plenty of strengths, too.
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Tips For Teaching Students With Autism
With a growing number of children who have autism in school, here are some steps teachers can take to help them learn, academically and socially
I remember pretty vividly the blank faces I would encounter when I was a kid and told people I had a family member with autism. This seemly changed overnight around the time I entered undergrad to embark on a career in special education. In the past decade or so, theres been much more exposure and awareness of autism and its uniqueness. With the ever-growing population of children with autism, it’s so important that all educators are well-versed on their needs. Here are six tips to help your students with autism thrive in the classroom.
Avoid sensory overload. Many unexpected things can be distracting to students with autism. Fluorescent lights, smells, and noises from other students can make it difficult for students with autism to concentrate. Using cool, calm colors in the classroom can help create a more relaxing atmosphere. Avoid covering the walls with too many posters or other things to look at. Some students may even benefit from their own center, where they can spend time away from any possible distractions.
To learn more about working with students with autism, visit The Autism Vault.
Strategy #: Using Rewards And Incentives
Applied behavior analysis, or ABA, is a form of therapy that is used to help children with ASD manage or eliminate problem behaviors, such as behaviors that result in self-harm or disruptions to other children. One of the most widely-used treatments for children with ASD, applied behavior analysis therapy works by using rewards and incentives to reinforce positive behaviors.
Though sometimes controversial, ABA has also been proven effective for certain children by research. For example, a peer-reviewed study published in 2020 found that long-term, comprehensive ABA-based interventions were beneficial to lifelong development of children with ASD, highlighting socialization, communication and expressive language as being potentially promising targets for ABA-based interventions.
Only individuals who meet certain educational and professional requirements can become ABA therapists. However, all teachers can implement the basic ideas of ABA, such as positive reinforcement in the classroom . To explore these topics in depth, read about how teachers can use reward systems to encourage better student engagement, or explore our Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis, which will prepare you for a career as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst .
Teaching Students With Autism: A Guide For Educators
Across the country, the number of children diagnosed as having autism has increased substantially and many of these students are in general education classrooms. How can general education teachers and other education professionals address their complex communication, social and learning needs?
We believe that all students deserve a great public educationand part of that experience is having access to the general curriculum and school experience.
Inclusion is not about disability, nor is it only about schools. Inclusion is about social justice. Inclusion demands that we ask, what kind of world do we want to create? Mara Sapon-Shevin, Syracuse University
In this guide, we cover areas key to building an inclusive education that sets educators and students up for success from day 1. The guide include sections on:
- collaborating with families and caregivers
Characteristics Of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Students with autism have a wide range of abilities and characteristics no two children appear or behave the same way. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and often change over time.
Characteristics of ASD fall into two categories:
Social Interaction and Communication Problems
Challenges with normal back-and-forth conversation
Difficulty understanding or responding to social cues like eye contact and facial expressions
Challenges in developing/maintaining/understanding relationships
Restricted and Repetitive Patterns of Behaviors, Interests, or Activities
Hand-flapping and toe-walking
Speaking in a unique way using odd patterns or pitches in speaking or scripting from favorite shows
Exhibiting intense interest in activities that are uncommon for a similarly aged child
Expressing their sensual responses uncommonly or extremely, like indifference to pain/temperature
Excessive smelling/touching of objects
Fascination with lights and movement and being overwhelmed with loud noises
The truth is, while many children with autism have normal intelligence levels, many others have mild or significant intellectual delays.
This is where the right educators play a huge role in teaching students with ASD.
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Find Special Interests As A Teaching Mechanism
Children with autism have particular preferences or special interests. This could be a television character, T.V. show, game, toy, etc. It may be beneficial for some parents to utilize their childs particular interest to teach him/her new skills. For example, if a child has a specific interest in a character, you could use it to teach appropriate social skills. As a parent, you could make social stories with that character to show the accepted way of socializing with peers.
Board Games With A Twist
Teaching children manners can be a helpful way to boost social skills and explain the importance of being polite. This simple, but effective activity puts an etiquette-related twist on a simple game of chess, checkers, or mancala by requiring players to wish their opponent good luck or good game before and after they have played.
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Try Picture Exchange Communication System
Developed by Andy Bondy and Lori Frost in 1985, PECS is a unique alternative communication system for teaching functional communication. It was first implemented with pre-school students diagnosed with ASD at the Delaware Autism Program. Since then, thousands of learners with various cognitive, physical, and communication challenges have adopted PECS.
Through many years of practice, this communication system became an evidence-based strategy with more than 190 research articles supporting its effectiveness.
PECS starts with teaching your students to give a picture that represents an action or item they want to a communicative partner who then honors their request. Later on, you show ASD students how to put images together to form sentences, use modifiers, and answer questions.
Image Source pecsusa.com
Try A Smart Goal Challenge
If a student with autism is having a hard time with school, sit down with them and pick a SMART goal to work on over the next month or semester. SMART goals are an effective way to help children with autism reach their potential, and they are:
Suppose, for example, that your student with autism is having trouble learning how to recognize emotions. You could make a goal with them to practice flash cards with emotions on them every day for five minutes and for the student to recognize each card by the end of the month. As long as the SMART goal hits all of the criteria, it can help your student focus on ways to make progress.
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