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

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

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

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

Synopsis

"Students with autism spectrum disorders are as different from each other as they are similar. They each present with unique combinations of behavioral, communication and sensory issues, which makes teaching them very challenging. With the understanding that no two children are the same, and that the condition of autism is not static, it follows that their educational programs must involve a specialized and ever-changing combination of interventions. Simply put, teaching children with autism is an art and a science, and this book is designed around this theme. It provides a theoretical overview for the various instructional strategies that have proved useful over the past several decades, and offers the reader a contextual framework for knowing when and with whom to use them. This book is a thorough, user-friendly and practical resource and an essential companion for teachers of children with autism spectrum disorders." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Children with autism are more a part of our society than ever before. The features of what we now call the autism spectrum are better understood and therefore recognized earlier and confused less with other conditions. While autism has always cut across racial, social, economic, and geographic boundaries, we now see autism in some form repeat itself more than once in many families. Yet the complexity of the autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) continues to challenge us. While many race for a cure, the immediate caretakers, parents, physicians, teachers, therapists, friends, and family must find a way to deal with, reach, and teach them. Despite the fact that we are more skilled than ever at detecting autism, we are still searching for viable ways to teach children who have it. Educators and families often find themselves at odds over this issue. Children with autism are as diverse as they are similar, and this is perplexing to the most experienced teacher. Their unique learning rates and learning styles demand highly prescriptive and individualized approaches. Many teachers are unprepared for working with children on the autism spectrum. They may either lack pre-service training, or have had limited experience with autism.

The process of creating an effective, appropriate educational program is difficult at best, never easy, and often an arduous one. As one parent remarked to me at an IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting, [We're in a marathon, aren't we?] His metaphor is an insightful one.

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