What Challenges Do Students With Asd Experience In School
While teachers often ask if autism is a learning disability, the answer isnt as straightforward as youd think. Autism itself isnt a learning disability, but there are some learning difficulties associated with autism. For example, students diagnosed with autism are more likely to develop attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia. When teaching students with ASD, its helpful to watch for symptoms of learning disorders and refer them to a specialist if needed.
Children with autism are also more likely to develop emotional disorders due to the unique challenges they face. Without support in the classroom, these students are more likely to feel isolated or misunderstood. At least one in three people with autism with develop mental health issues like depression or anxiety in their lives. And since the risk of self-harm behaviors is 28 times more likely for children with autism, making sure your students receive the emotional support they need is essential.
Another issue many students with autism face is bullying. Around 34% of children with autism report being picked on at school to the point that it distresses them. Because these kids may think or act differently from others, other students may tease them or leave them out of their friend circles. Thats why its important to educate all children in your school about autism, not just the student with ASD.
Only Boys Can Develop Autism Girls With Autism Are Rare Or Nonexistent
While its true that boys are more likely to develop autism, girls can have this condition, too. The ratio of boys to girls with autism is estimated at around 3:1, but girls with ASD are less likely to be formally diagnosed. Some researchers have theorized that autism symptoms can be different in men and women, causing girls with ASD to be misdiagnosed or underreported.
Reading Comprehension Interventions Implemented With Children On The Spectrum
To assist teachers in choosing the types of reading comprehension interventions most likely to benefit children with ASDs, we describe the small number of reading comprehension interventions actually implemented with children on the spectrum. Given the paucity of the studies and limited implementation of these interventions, generalizing instructional prescriptions and guidelines is unwise. Rather, we describe several types of interventions and instructional approaches, from which professionals might select and tailor to their students particular cognitive profiles.
Collaborative learning and peer tutoring may assist children with ASDs to develop social and communication skills, but many children with ASDs prefer to work alone they tend to avoid interactions with people. Thus, one promising instructional tool is computer-based instruction, which can be tailored to individual needs. As one example, we review a computer-based vocabulary intervention.
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Sensory Activities For Children With Autism
Because children with autism are often hyper aware of sensory input, its helpful for educators to provide accommodations so their students can focus in class. These activities involving sensory stimulation can keep kids with autism grounded in the present and comfortable learning with the rest of their classmates.
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.
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Reasons Most People Aren’t Aware Of
School is rarely a good environment for children with autism. And that can be a serious problem both during the school years and after.
Firstly, autistic kids spend a huge amount of time learning how to cope with an environment that is often out of sync with their abilities and challenges. Then, after having built those skills, the kids must leave that environment for a completely different situation when they graduate or age out.
For many autistic kids, school is far tougher than any work environment for reasons most people have never even fathomed.
What Are The Symptoms Of Asperger Syndrome
The term ‘Asperger Syndrome’ derives from a 1944 study by Austrian paediatrician Hans Asperger. Those who fit the profile for Asperger’s are now being diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder, though it is up to the individual to choose how they identify some may want to keep the label as having Asperger’s, others may want to say that they are autistic or on the autism spectrum. Often people feel that Asperger syndrome is a fundamental aspect of their identity.
People with Asperger syndrome see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. Some have described the world as being an overwhelming and confusing environment, often feeling like they don’t quite fit it or understand how things work. Again, we all experience the world differently but for people who have Asperger’s, their perception and experience of the world around them significantly impacts their daily life.
Typically, one of the defining characteristics of Asperger’s is significant language delay and the development of early speech. Often, children do not learn to speak until above the age of 4. This isn’t an inability to speak, many children just choose not to speak for one reason or another. Many parents or carers do seek the support of a language therapist to aid speech production. Other defining characteristics for Asperger’s include
- Difficulty with social interaction
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The Importance Of Reading Comprehension
In school, the development of reading skills usually starts with teaching the child how to decode texts though teaching phonemes, the alphabet, and forming letter combinations. When the child is able to form words, semantic development occurs and, eventually, the child learns to recognize words effortlessly.
Comprehension involves the ability to understand text and language patterns, to recognize the structural elements of a sentence, and the relationship between these elements. When reading a text, were not only aware of the words on the page, each subsequent word forms a sentence that carries meaning.
Reading comprehension follows a simple formula: word recognition x language comprehension = reading comprehension. It asks three main questions:
- What do these words mean?
- What is the role of each word within this text?
- What meaning can I draw from this holistically?
There are three levels of comprehension. These levels are interconnected because each level builds from the previous level. The formation of understanding at the first level requires the child or student to have basic cognitive and intellectual skills, and language skills.
Who Is This Childhood Asperger Syndrome Quiz For
Below is a list of questions that relate to life experiences common among children with Asperger syndrome , a less severe form of autism spectrum disorder . Children or teenagers with Aspergers have difficulties relating to others socially and understanding social situations and subtle forms of communication like body language. This quiz is designed to be taken by parents who are concerned that their child might have Aspergers.
Please read each question carefully, and indicate how often your child has experienced the same or similar challenges in the past few months. Please be aware that some behaviors are developmentally appropriate for young children and not signs of autism.
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What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
The definition of autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition that causes children to be hypersensitive to sensory stimuli. We use the term spectrum disorder because characteristics of autism vary depending on the child and can range from mild to severe. That being said, students with autism often have trouble communicating with others and exhibit repetitive behavior.
A few common signs of autism spectrum disorder include:
- Has trouble talking or making eye contact
- Seems to prefer playing alone and is often in their own world
- Shows unusual attachments to certain objects or activities
- Struggles in social interactions with other students
- Appears overly sensitive to noises or images
While its not certain what causes autism in children, the strongest factor seems to be genetics. A study involving forty-three pairs of twins found that genes can highly predict a persons likelihood of having autism. While some environmental factors seem to increase the chance that a child develops autism, one thing is certainresearchers have not found evidence that vaccines are one of these factors.
Strategies To Keep Lectures And Discussions On Track
While social issues are important, another challenge with HFA students can be managing their interactions in a larger classroom. Because they cant necessarily pick up on subtle voice or facial cues teachers give to modify or end a line of questioning, students with HFA or Aspergers can sometimes be perceived as interrupting or derailing lectures. Its important to know that their behavior is not intentionally rude, but that these students are not always able to understand the nuances of subtle social cues.
One technique to help with students who perseverate, blurt or interrupt lectures for questions at inappropriate times can be to give them a limited amount of tangible items that they can trade to ask a question. When the student is out of tangible items, they can write down their questions and address in conference with the teacher at a later time. This does not need to be a targeted technique and can slightly modified to encourage everyones participation in discussions.
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Modifications That Support Learning For A Wide Range Of Students
It would be extremely inappropriate for a teacher to share a students private diagnosis with their classmates. However, there are ways to encourage social interaction that support all students and do not require identifying an individual student or their specific needs. These include:
- Simplifying language and class plans
- Keeping a visual schedule
- Flagging transitions
- Individualizing lesson plans when needed
These modifications help students with HFA or AS and also enhance learning for sensory integration disorder children or others who may need concrete support mechanisms. Creating small circles of support or partnerships can help all students avoid bullying and practice empathy. The social connections that come from small groups tend to break down bullying behavior and support peer connection.
How Are Asd Levels Determined
While its difficult to determine a persons ASD level, trained psychologists have some tools that can help them accomplish this, such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition . This assessment is typically paired with a thorough developmental history.
ASD can be diagnosed as early as 18 months . However, many children, and even some adults, may not be diagnosed until much later.
Being diagnosed at a later age can make treatment more difficult. If you or your childs pediatrician think they may be autistic, consider making an appointment with an ASD specialist. Learn more about testing for ASD.
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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:
Fun Classroom Activities For Teaching Students With Autism
Sometimes, educational strategies for autism may differ from the lesson plans you make for the rest of your class. But thankfully, autism activities can be as simple as stocking sensory toys in your classroom or reading picture books about social skills. Use these four activities for students with autism to help these students learn academic concepts.
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Rise To The Challenge
Positive Action recognizes the value of each and every person. We help special needs students integrate into mainstream classrooms while equipping them with the essential skills and motivation to thrive.
Positive Action can help you assess your special education students needs and plan how to meet them with Individualized Education Plans.
I am very grateful for these lessons. They fulfill a need that so many children are lacking in the educational process today. Linda Davis, 2nd Grade Teacher, Davis Elementary
If you want to see how Positive Action can increase educational success at your institution or organization contact us by phone, chat, or email or schedule a webinar with us below.
Signs Of Autism In Young Children
Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder are usually clear by two or three years old. The range of behaviors and skills covered here may become apparent between two years old and five years old.
Some signs that a child has autism spectrum disorder may include:
- Not expressing emotion or only a limited range of emotions
- Difficulty interpreting different emotions in others
- Not seeming attached to parents
- Lacking interest in playing social games or the company of other children
- Interest in playing with one particular toy or object
- Echolalia, repeating other peopleÃÂ¢Ã¢Â¬Ã¢Â¢s words or phrases
- Repeating own words over and over
- Using formal language and expressions, rather than the slang of their peers
- Not developing language skills at all
- Difficulty toilet training
- Challenging behaviour, such as banging head on wall or picking at skin
- Engages in behavior such as flapping hands, rocking or twirling
Children with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty interpreting what other people are thinking and feeling, and often miss social cues. A child with autism may not be able to tell the difference between an adult who says ÃÂ¢Ã¢Â¬Ãcome hereÃÂ¢Ã¢Â¬Ã¯Â¿Â½ while happy and smiling, and an adult who says ÃÂ¢Ã¢Â¬Ãcome hereÃÂ¢Ã¢Â¬Ã¯Â¿Â½ while angry and frowning. This can be confusing and creates the impression the child is not connecting with people.
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Connor Yates Goes Viral With A Speech About His Experience As An Autistic Student
His excellent writing and delivery earned first place in schools speech competition and qualified him to compete at the district level, but the speech went viral because it provided insight into the social and educational difficulties of people like him. Yatess goal of spreading awareness calls everyones attention to the importance of creating a supportive educational environment for students with high functioning autism.
Young people with high-functioning autism or Aspergers syndrome are increasingly common. Both diagnoses identify students on the autism spectrum who have average or high intelligence and whose biggest outward symptoms tend to be social in nature. The characteristics of HFA and AS mean that these individuals are members of mainstream classrooms.
These students may not have high academic support needs, but still encounter frustrations in the classroom that impair or interrupt their or their classmates ability to learn. Much of Connor Yatess speech focused on challenges he met when interacting with peers, including not being able to look at friends when he spoke to them.
Students With Autism Cannot Make Friends Or Feel Emotions
Children with autism feel emotions just like everybody else, even if they show it in different ways. Most students with autism want friends, but if they struggle with social skills, they might not know how.
Luckily, teaching students with autism key social skills can help them bond with their classmates. If a child has trouble fitting in, try playing autism awareness activities or teaching a lesson about diversity with your whole class to help all of your students feel welcome.
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Teaching Strategies And Parent Communication Help Teachers Meet The Needs Of All Students
Ultimately, its important not to be overwhelmed, but to understand that these behavioral techniques can provide help and support not just to students with HFA or AS, but those with attention deficit disorder, sensory integration disorder, difficulties transitioning, or social awkwardness. One of the true benefits of having a student with HFA is recognizing that interventions on behalf of HFA students can help all students and enhance the overall cohort effect, ensuring that everyone in the classroom feels like a part of a strong learning community.
Monica Fuglei is a graduate of the University of Nebraska in Omaha and a current faculty member of Arapahoe Community College in Colorado, where she teaches composition and creative writing.
Autism And Abstract Skills
People with autism have problems with abstract and conceptual thinking. Some may eventually acquire abstract skills, but others never will. When abstract concepts must be used, use visual cues, such as drawings or written words, to augment the abstract idea. Be as concrete as possible in all your interactions with these students. Avoid asking vague questions such as, “Why did you do that?” Instead, say, “I did not like it when you slammed your book down when I said it was time for gym. Next time put the book down gently and tell me you are angry. Were you showing me that you did not want to go to gym, or that you did not want to stop reading?” Avoid asking essay-type questions. Be as concrete as possible in all your interactions with these students.
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