Teaching Students with Autism

According to the National Autistic Society, the leading organization in the United Kingdom for people with autism and their families, the condition "is a lifelong disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them." Children on the autistic spectrum face challenges in relating to others and they find forming friendships extremely difficult as they have problems in understanding other people's emotions. They experience problems with social interaction and communication, leading to difficulties at school for the child, other children and their teachers.

All children learn as they grow and children with autistic spectrum disorders are no different. Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that it manifests itself differently in each child. Like a row of dominoes, if an early aspect of development is affected in a particular case of autism, other later-emerging aspects of development will be affected too. As a result, each case of autism presents a slightly different profile of learning abilities and learning disabilities. Each learning ability and each learning disability may influence how a particular child with autism may or may not learn something the way other children without autism may learn that same thing.

According to the Autism Society, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention autism report of 2009, the prevalence of autism has risen to 1 in every 110 births in the United States and almost 1 in 70 boys. This created a major debate in the media but the Autism Society said it wasn't a surprising announcement as its figures showed there were 1.5 million Americans who are classed as being on the autism spectrum disorder. The National Autistic Society, states that due to an increased awareness and understanding of autism in the UK, more children are being diagnosed at an early age.

The conceptualization of learning weaknesses and strengths is core to the whole field of learning disabilities and to compensatory educational approaches. For this reason, autism could be seen as a learning disability syndrome, with each symptom connoting a related cluster of learning weakness or an area of a so called autism-specific learning disability. Using autistic learning disabilities as the organizing construct, it is possible to reconceptualize treatment for autism. The first step is to assess a child's autistic learning disabilities. The second step is to examine existing treatment strategies and treatment programs and systematically ask what each has to offer in the way of compensation with respect to a specific autistic learning disability. The third step is to put the first two processes together, taking the list of treatments that may be relevant to a particular child's specific profile of autistic learning disabilities and then figuring out how, within this child's matrix of abilities and disabilities, to select treatment components that will address each weakness using strategies that utilize the child's relative strengths. In this way, a specific set of treatment needs can be formulated and an individualized treatment plan developed.

There has been major progress in how children with autism are treated. A number of methods for teaching children with autism have been devised, tested and used successfully. However, parents and teachers often become mired in controversy about what should be done, although there is no right answer to this question. Every child is educationally and biologically unique and will need something slightly different to meet their needs. The challenge is to understand the range of differences that make up what are called the autistic spectrum disorders and then to understand the individual differences that can be described in terms of slightly different profiles of strengths and weaknesses. The design of truly individual treatment plans that exploit strengths and compensate for weaknesses begins with a detailed understanding of how learning is different for children with autism than for those without autism and how learning is different among different children with autism.

According to Fox News (March 8, 2011), a new robot is helping to teach children on the autistic spectrum at a pre-school in Stevenage in Hertfordshire, England. The robot, called Kaspar, is showing the children at the nursery how to learn to play and teaching them about emotions during weekly sessions. Similar projects exist in the US, Canada and Japan although researchers report that the UK project is the most advanced. The project is the idea of scientists at the University of Hertfordshire, who have been taking Kaspar to the nursery for the sessions

Teaching Students with Autism: Selected full-text books and articles

Teaching Children with Autism and Related Spectrum Disorders: An Art and a Science
Christy L. Magnusen.
Jessica Kingsley, 2005
New Views into the Science of Educating Children with Autism: Emerging Developments in Neuroscience Are Forming the Basis of Promising New Treatments for Children on the Autism Spectrum
Burns, Martha S.
Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 94, No. 4, December 2012
Helping Children with Autism Learn: Treatment Approaches for Parents and Professionals
Bryna Siegel.
Oxford University Press, 2003
Autism Spectrum Disorders: Identification, Education, and Treatment
Dianne Zager.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005 (3rd edition)
Addressing the Challenging Behavior of Children with High Functioning Autism/Asperger Syndrome in the Classroom: A Guide for Teachers and Parents
Rebecca A. Moyes.
Jessica Kingsley, 2002
Incorporating Social Goals in the Classroom: A Guide for Teachers and Parents of Children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome
Rebecca A. Moyes.
Jessica Kingsley, 2001
Teaching Elementary Children with Autism: Addressing Teacher Challenges and Preparation Needs
Busby, Ruth; Ingram, Rebecca; Bowron, Rhonda; Oliver, Jan; Lyons, Barbara.
Rural Educator, Vol. 33, No. 2, Winter 2012
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Video Modelling and Behaviour Analysis: A Guide for Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism
Christos Nikopoulos; Mickey Keenan.
Jessica Kingsley, 2006
Video Modeling for Individuals with Autism: A Review of Model Types and Effects
McCoy, Kathleen; Hermansen, Emily.
Education & Treatment of Children, Vol. 30, No. 4, November 2007
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Toward a Model of Promoting Literacy for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the General Education Classroom
LaBarbera, Robin; Soto-Hinman, Ivannia.
Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table, Spring 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Strategies for Teaching Students with Autism in Physical Education
Houston-Wilson, Cathy; Lieberman, Lauren J.
JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Vol. 74, No. 6, August 2003
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Teaching a Child with Autism to Share among Peers in an Integrated Preschool Classroom: Acquisition, Maintenance, and Social Validation
McCann Sawyer, Lori; Luiselli, James K.; Ricciardi, Joseph N.; Gower, Jennifer L.
Education & Treatment of Children, Vol. 28, No. 1, February 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Teaching Motor Skills to Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Understanding Students' Limitations and Designing Programs to Address Them Will Increase Student Success
Todd, Teri.
JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Vol. 83, No. 8, October 2012
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Teaching of Functional Language Skills in a Second Language to a Child with Autism
Chong, Renée.
K@ta, Vol. 8, No. 2, December 2006
Teaching Children with Autism Conversational Speech Using a Cue Card/written Script Program
Charlop-Christy, Marjorie H.; Kelso, Susan E.
Education & Treatment of Children, Vol. 26, No. 2, May 2003
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.