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Autism, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 334

Essay

Definition:  Autism is a developmental disability that effects the way people understand the world around them.  It impairs communication and social interaction and results in repetitive patterns of behavior and activities, and operates at a variety of levels known as the autism spectrum.  Autism has its own distinct class under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to ensure that autistic students receive special education services (Heward, 2008).

Causes:  The cause for autism is not yet known, but research tends to suggest a genetic component to this disability.  Scientific investigations have found structural and functional differences in the brains of people with autism which indicate that there is also a biological component to autism (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2000).

Prevalence:  The rate of autism is generally thought to be between four and five in every 10,000 births, with this number rising when a broad spectrum of disorders are included.  Autism is more prevalent among males than females (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2000).

Classroom Accommodations:  Methods for teaching students with autism need to be tailored to each child’s individual needs, which can change over time.  Above all, consistency and structure are essential to creating a successful educational experience for autistic children.

Classroom Environment:

  • Provide a structured, predictable classroom environment
  • Provide a customized visual daily schedule
  • Regulate lighting and temperature

Teacher Presentation/Strategies:

  • Use pictograph and visual cues as an instructional method
  • Use direct teaching to provide opportunities for choice
  • Avoid long strings of verbal information and open-ended questions.

Materials:

  • Use age-appropriate materials
  • Use cue card prompts to encourage positive behaviors
  • Avoid tactile and other sensory materials which may cause a negative reaction

Assessments:

  • Allow the student to complete tests in a familiar and comfortable area
  • Encourage the student to take breaks and move around if necessary
  • Repeat and rephrase questions and instructions for clarity
  • (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2000)

 References

British Columbia Ministry of Education, Special Programs Branch. (2000) Teaching students with autism: A resource guide for schools. Victoria, BC: British Columbia Ministry of Education. Retrieved from http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/specialed/docs/autism.pdf

Heward, W.L. (2008). Exceptional children: An introduction to special education. 9th ed. New   York, NY: Prentice Hall.

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