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Tools For Autistic Students

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Learning Materials That Support Children With Autism

How to Teach a Child with Autism – Introduction (1/5) | Autism at Home

Learning Materials and Activities for Children with Autism Image source:

As we finish up April and Autism Awareness Month, we share with you some strategies for autism therapy at home. Since the early 1970s the United States has recognized April as Autism Awareness Month and autism advocacy groups take this special opportunity to educate the public about autism and related issues within the autism community. Autism Spectrum Disorder and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. They are characterized by varying degrees of difficulties in social interaction, verbal and non -verbal communication and repetitive behaviors. ASD affects over 2 million people in the United States and tens of millions worldwide. Rates have increased 10-17% annually in recent years, with no established explanation.

Pica Handbook For Autistic Children

Suitable for: Toddlers & Children with AutismCategory: Diet Therapy Pica is compulsive eating of non food item a typical behavior among Autistic children. This handbook provides insight on why autistic children are prone to pica, how Pica is harmful for your child and what you, as parents, could do to prevent/treat it.Publisher: Autism Treatment Network

  • Suitable for: Families with Autism
  • Category: Informational

Learning, for the first time, that your friend or family member is autistic is probably a defining moment of your life. People react in a variety of ways ranging from utter shock, denial, anger, grief, etc. This is a great Autism resource to help ease some of those emotions and teach you to accept the change for your life is never going to be the same again. In order to ensure that this tool is optimally utilized, it has been split into 4 categories based on the persons relationship with the autistic individual:

What Are Resources For Autism

In this article, we will explore what types of learning tools and strategies might make your curriculum easier to access for children with ASD. We will argue about the benefits of making inclusive environments for everyone and that doesn’t single out the neurodiverse. ASD or Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can result in hypersensitivity to sounds, sights, and other sensory experiences. There are three most common categories of symptoms of autism:

  • Social impairment
  • Communication issues and
  • Stimming or Repetitive behaviours.

With an increasing number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in schools, it has become important for teachers to use the most effective strategies and resources to help these children learn, academically and socially. At Structural Learning, we try to develop classroom concepts that are universally inclusive for everyone. This means developing tools that neurodiverse children can use as well as their mainstream colleagues. In a well-designed classroom environment, a child should not have to pursue their studies in the corridor. Good instructional practice means that all pupils can access the curriculum. In this article, we will provide teaching staff with some ideas for making their classrooms truly inclusive.

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These 10 Tips Will Help You Get Started:

1. Create a Structured Environment

Children with autism feel more comfortable when they have a routine with clear structures and minimal deviations from their predicted schedule. Make sure the learning environment and lesson plans are structured in a manner that tells students as well as educators what is to be done, for how long or how much, when it needs to be done when it is completed, and what comes next.

2. Make Communication Easier

Many communication techniques are used by educators who teach children with ASD. For instance, some learning centers use sign language for autistic children with low speech skills. Facilitated communication is another technique that may help them learn better, where you hold the childs hand or arm and encourage them to press the appropriate key on portable communication devices.

3. Use Visual Aids

Visuals are an important aspect of teaching young children, particularly for children with autism. Line drawings, photographs or Language Builder Picture Cards, if/then cards and stickers can be incorporated within various daily activities, while picture schedules and mini-schedules provide structure. Other tools such as online tutorials and videos deliver information in a visual manner that a child with ASD may find easier to absorb.

4. Encourage Social Interactions

5. Make Activities Structured Too

6. Use Direct Language

7. Give Them Extra Time

8. Be Aware of Sensory Issues

9. Eliminate Potential Stress

10. Keep Instructions Simple

Getting An Autism Diagnosis

Auditory Sensory Toys &  Tools for Kids

Only a specialist can make an official diagnosis of autism There are two important reasons to obtain a formal diagnosis for your child. First, your child may be eligible for support and resources from government and insurance agencies. Second, there are other related conditions that are also associated with autism, but involve different treatments, such as Sensory Processing Disorder as well as Fragile X, Landau-Kleffner, and Retts syndromes.

An autism diagnosis is usually based on the criteria described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which is published by the American Psychiatric Association and used by most healthcare professionals.

The DSM-5 recognizes two broad diagnostic criteria for autism:

  • Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction
  • Restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interest, or activities.
  • These symptoms often appear early in life and can disrupt the childs social, emotional, and cognitive development.

    After a diagnosis of autism, a specialist will f coordinate a healthcare team to assess and recommend treatment.

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    Tactile Learning Style & Teaching Tools For Autism

    Tactile or Kinesthetic learners take information in by doing – hands-on, manipulating materials, and moving. Kinesthetic learners use all of their senses and benefit from these teaching strategies:

    • Incorporate the sensory systems: touch, smell, sight, move, hear
    • Hands-on field trips and experiential learning opportunities through exhibits
    • Trial-and-error learning
    • Whole-body incorporation in new learning

    Reinforcement And Video Modeling

    A recent review of 27 Evidence-Based strategies for teaching autistic students found Video Modeling and Positive Reinforcement to be two of the most effective techniques.

    Video ModelingThis technique involves showing ASD students videos modeling targeted behavior or displaying how to complete a task.

  • Basic video modeling uses other adults, peers, or animation as models.
  • Video self-modeling uses the autistic child as the model.
  • Point of view video-modeling: this shows what completing the task would look like from the childs point of view. For example, the video shows a pair of hands doing a task.
  • Video-prompting: this breaks up a task, like turning on a computer, into steps that the child watches as they complete the task.
  • Positive Reinforcement

    Positive reinforcement can be anything that serves as an incentive and happens after a student accomplishes a task or behavior. This reinforcer stimulates the likelihood of that behavior occurring again.

    Reinforcers are divided into primary and secondary. Primary reinforcers are usually naturally reinforcing, such as sleep, food, or water. On the other hand, ASD students develop positive reinforcers over time and vary from person to person. Examples of secondary reinforcers: praising the student or putting a sticker or a letter grade of A on a worksheet.

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    I Creating The Right Learning Environment

    Ever tried working in a nightclub? Or maybe you tried finishing your paperwork on a tennis court? Nope? Well, just like you, your child needs a conducive learning environment, too.

    When homeschooling a child with Autism, minimize all possible distractions because, as mentioned earlier, autism causes strong responses to visual stimulisomething you can turn in your favor by using visual aids as a learning tool.

    Avoid distractions but use visuals? Wait that isnt very clear! By creating a pleasant learning environment, we mean that you should:

    Apples And Actions Game

    New tools to help teach autistic students

    This object lesson starts with showing your student an apple. Pass the apple around the class and, as you do, have each child insult it and drop it on their desk or the ground. After every child has dropped it and said a mean thing to it, cut the apple in half and show your students all the bruises inside.

    Explain to them that our words have consequences and that everything we say can make an impact on someone else. Just like how insulting and dropping the apple can bruise it, being mean to a classmate can have big effects on them. That way, your students will always remember to be kind.

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    All Children With Autism Have Intellectual Disabilities

    Because autism is a spectrum disorder, it comes in a broad range of symptoms and severity. In terms of how autism affects learning in school, some students may have cognitive disabilities while others might not. The best way to know for sure is to discuss their symptoms with their parents or a school specialist.

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    Effective Tips For Teaching Children With Autism In 2022

    Its impossible to handle her.

    Hes totally disruptive and creates a ruckus in my class.

    What an attention seeker!

    Do you think she should be attending regular school?

    He cant sit still, even for a moment.

    I dont think hes capable of learning.

    These are some of the commonly heard frustrations that come with teaching students with autism.

    But what if we tried to understand how the student with autism feels? What if we attributed their behavior to a different brain wiring instead of deliberate disruption?

    Not abnormal or dysfunctional just different.

    This better explains their hyperactivity, anxiety, and inability to connect with other children. These behaviors are a cry for help your help.

    At Positive Action, our committee partners with educators by providing schools with the right tools to develop special ed curriculums catered to students with autism.

    What I love most about Positive Action is the way it pertains to the real issues students face in todays world! Lori Kessinge, 5th Grade Teacher, Critzer Elementary School, Virginia

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    The School Community Tool Kit Is Broken Down Into Sections:

    • About the School Community Tool Kit
    • Information about the resources included, a section on how to use the tool kit, a note to families and caregivers, an “About Me” profile form, and more.
  • In addition to general information about autism, this section includes information about:
  • Social symptoms
  • Unique abilities that may accompany autism
  • The School Community
  • Specific resources and information for:
  • The rights of students with autism
  • Instructional methods in teaching students
  • Assistive technologies
  • Ideas for a team approach
  • Supporting Learning in the Student with Autism
  • Topics include:
  • Improving social interaction and development
  • Ideas for preventing behavior
  • Web, Print and Video Resources
  • A list of various resources for all members of the school community.
  • Insights, strategies, assessments, handbooks, and lots more!
  • This tool kit is not intended to be a curriculum for special education for students on the autism spectrum, but rather a support for the general education and administrative school staff who interact with students with autism in various capacities. However, it is envisioned that this tool kit will provide valuable information and resources that can be employed by special education and administrative staff in their efforts to plan for and support students in general education environments and involvement in the school community as a whole

    Auditory Learning Style & Teaching Tools For Autism

    Sensory Toys for Autistic Children  Educational Tools

    Students with strong auditory comprehension prefer to take in new information by listening or hearing. Repetition is key with auditory learners and reciting back information is a consistent strategy they use. These auditory learners benefit from the following teaching tools:

    • Oral reciting, speaking, retelling, describing of information
    • Audio recording information

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    How Would It Feel To Be : : : :

    Next time you read a book to your class, try asking your students how it would feel to be the main character in the story. If youre reading a picture book about Cinderella, for example, you could ask how they would feel if they had two evil stepsisters who were mean to them. Or if youre reading Peter Pan as a class, you could ask them what happy memories they would think about to fly with magic pixie dust.

    This can help students with autism learn empathy as well as how to see situations in their lives from another perspective. It can also teach them how to recognize emotional cues by encouraging them to put themselves in the perspective of another person.

    How Time4learning Curriculum Helps Students With Autism

    Using an interactive online environment, the Time4Learning educational learning system builds and reinforces writing skills. It can be used as core writing curriculum or a supplement to other tools. Many families homeschooling a child on the autism spectrum use Time4Learning. Heres why:

    • Lessons and activities are multisensory and work with a variety of learning styles.
    • The impersonal nature of computer learning is preferable to many on the autism spectrum.
    • It builds on existing skills, not just in writing, but in reading, math, science, and social studies as well.
    • It allows for the placement of different grade levels in different subjects.
    • New learning opportunities are introduced in a safe, supportive environment.
    • Learning is balanced with fun!

    Choose your subject and grade level to experience demos of Time4Learnings interactive curriculum.

    Have other questions about homeschooling a child with autism? You may find the following pages helpful.

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    Must Have Autism Apps Tools And Resources For Kids

    In America, 1 in 1000 kids will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This disease is classified as on a spectrum because it impacts children differently. Some children may be high functioning while others may need a lot of assistance throughout their life. For parents, a diagnosis of autism can be an overwhelming challenge. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources, including apps, that can help children with autism develop important social skills. Here is a review of the top eight apps for children with autism.

  • Autism and Beyond
  • If you suspect that your child may suffer from autism, the first thing to do is to make an appointment with your pediatrician. However, before making that appointment, a lot of parents may turn to online research to help them determine if their child does indeed show early signs of autism. Autism and Beyond is an app that includes videos that help to determine if children show signs of autism. It can be useful information to see what researchers look for when diagnosing children with autism.

    Communication will vary across the autism spectrum. While some children with autism will be able to voice their ideas in words, some may be non-verbal. An app like Pictello allows children with autism, no matter their verbal ability, the chance to tell their own story. This app allows children to combine video, audio, and pictures to put together a story they want to tell.

    Strategy #: Limiting Sensory Overload

    ABA Autism Training – Chapter 3 – Prompting

    As any teacher knows from experience, the classroom can be a hectic environment, especially at lower grade levels such as elementary school classes. From the shouting and laughter of children to the humming and blinking of lights, its easy for students to lose their focus especially when they dont feel motivated to learn.

    These types of environmental factors can be distracting for any student but for students with ASD, they can be overwhelming. Many children and adults who have ASD anywhere from 69 to 93 percent, according to some research experience hypersensitivity or other sensory symptoms, including overreactions to the sensory environment .

    While its impossible to eliminate every potential distraction, teachers can still make a positive difference by identifying and managing sources of sensory overload. For example, Autism Speaks points out that some students who have ASD might feel discomfort with making sustained eye contact, changing in busy locker rooms, or standing in crowded lines. By taking simple actions to avoid or accommodate these scenarios for instance, granting students with ASD a few minutes to unwind after walking in a noisy hallway, or allowing students to dress when the locker room is empty educators can make the classroom a more welcoming and less distracting environment.

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    Writing Strategies For Students With Autism

    Some of the steps you can take to improve the writing experiences of your student with autism include:

    • Use visual planners, such as graphic organizers, to help students map out what they want to say.
    • When handwriting is necessary, use pencil grips that minimize sensory issues.
    • Allow students to use assistive technology such as word processors with auditory feedback, word prediction software, and word banks.
    • Incorporate vocabulary instruction into your reading and writing curriculum.

    Tools For Autistic Child

    There are a number of tools that can be used to help an autistic child. These can include things like visual aids, communication devices, and behavior intervention strategies. Each child is different, so it is important to work with professionals to figure out which tools will be most helpful. With the right support, autistic children can thrive and reach their full potential.

    Teachers are aware that children with neurotypicalities benefit from a variety of teaching approaches. According to Neil Flemings VARK model of student learning, students should select one of three learning styles: visual, aural , read/write preference, or kinesthetic. These learning styles should be used to advise classroom settings and teaching strategies. Those with strong auditory comprehension prefer listening or hearing in order to gain new information. Repetition is an important component of auditory learning, and reciting back information is a constant method of reinforcement. These teaching strategies allow students with kinesthetic abilities to communicate with one another. Your childs needs will be considered when determining how to proceed with this conversation.

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