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

By Christy L. Magnusen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Putting Theory into Practice

Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up
children; now I have six children and no theories. (John Wilmot,
Earl of Rochester, [Letters,] quoted in Macaulay 1994, p. 186)

Once it is accepted that a child has autism, it is vitally important to set in motion supports that will assist him or her. Autism is pervasive. It affects a person, continuously, throughout his or her life span: at home, school, and in the community. In concert with parents, schools are often the first to be called upon to assist a child. More often than not, a child with autism will need special help in order to learn, especially to master social situations and communicate in meaningful ways. In her recent discussion of the essential components of an educational program for children with autism, Uta Frith (2003, pp.218–219) lists the following:
1. The treatments that work have the belief that this is a condition that will not go away.
2. Improvements can be expected over the course of a lifetime.
3. There is an underlying neurological condition that is untreatable.
4. Explicit learning will occur despite the fact that implicit learning may fail.
5. A behavioral approach as a listener and as a speaker is important when dealing with one who has autism.

-19-

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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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