Every student is a genius. (Armstrong 1998, p.l)
What we teach (curriculum) and how we teach (instructional process) are large-scale issues facing every teacher. This chapter addresses instructional methods that are useful with children who have autism. This is a broad statement, because methods will vary according to context, objective, and the student's level of autism. Instructional strategies can vary on a daily basis, or they might remain static for weeks. Teachers should adjust their teaching approach with the changes in student development (either progression, or lack thereof). Students on the spectrum will require at the very least modifications and adaptations in the pace and complexity of instruction. Other students may require highly specialized strategies and significant alterations in class size, unique methods, and supportive therapies.
Howard Gardner (1983, 1993, 1997, 1999) has been a catalyst in changing perceptions about how we determine who is smart. Gardner expanded the concept of intelligence not only in terms of its depth, but also in its scope. Gardner's investigations into authentic assessment led him to conclude there are many ways to be smart (in fact, he proposed seven). Gardner and his colleagues concluded that traditional, standardized assessment only examined two of these