Teaching Children with Autism and Related Spectrum Disorders: An Art and a Science

By Christy L. Magnusen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
An Integrated Approach

A theory of education could only be derived from under-
standing the mind that is to be educated. (Premack and Premack
2003, p.227)

Autism cannot be explained easily and we should know that. But I see people mistakenly do this all the time. I have frequently heard the remark: [He's testing you] (a behaviorist), or [She is doing that because she can't communicate] (a language therapist), or [He should know better, he has an IQ over 120, and he told the clerk that she was overweight, middle-aged, and stupid] (Asperger comment to a clerk who probably is middle-aged and overweight). Simply put, autism is much more complex than most realize.

When I am called upon to help teachers understand autism, from the beginning I tell them that working with autism is like manipulating a Rubik's cube — there are three main dimensions, with many facets to each dimension. The behavior of a child with autism is not easily explained through one dimension, nor can it be dealt with with a quick intervention. As with a Rubik's cube, autism should be regarded as three dimensional, each of the dimensions affecting the other two.

Autism is also not a static condition. It is a moving target and it changes developmentally over time and with intervention. When a feature of autism changes, the rest of its features change accordingly. In my opinion, it is best viewed as a dynamic combination and inter

-25-

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Teaching Children with Autism and Related Spectrum Disorders: An Art and a Science
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Acknowledgment 6
  • Contents 7
  • Foreword 9
  • Preface 11
  • Chapter 1 - The Big Picture 13
  • Chapter 2 - How Children with Autism Think and Learn 15
  • Chapter 3 - Putting Theory into Practice 19
  • Chapter 4 - An Integrated Approach 25
  • Chapter 5 - Planning Strategies 41
  • Chapter 6 - Instructional Strategies 51
  • Conclusion 97
  • References 99
  • Further Reading 103
  • Subject Index 121
  • Author Index 125
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