Educating Child With Autism

Educating a child with autism should never be thought of as an easy task to undertake, because the child is affected with the symptoms every day of the year. If the child has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, the education process can be even more difficult. The unusual characteristics that autism produces will set them apart from non autistic students. Part off this is due to the trouble they have understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings, which makes it very difficult for the autistic student to understand what their teacher may be trying to teach them.

Educating a child with autism is made even more difficult because they do not understand that facial expressions, and vocal variations hold meanings, and many times they may misinterpret what emotion their instructor is displaying. The inability to correctly decipher the world they live in, them makes educating a child with autism  stressful, for both the student and the teacher. Teachers must be aware if a student is autistic so that they are best able to help the student get the most out of the education process.

Some autistic students will learn more with visual aids, because their minds are better able to comprehend material taught this way. With this in mind, many teachers will create “visual schedules” for their autistic students. Visual Schedules will allow the autistic student to better know what is scheduled for the day.  Some autistic children will have trouble changing from one activity to another activity, so this visual schedule can many times help to reduce or eliminate the stress for both the autistic student, as well as their teacher.

Autism research has indicated that working in pairs may prove be beneficial while educating a child with autism. The autistic student will not only experience problems in school with language and communication, but will also experience problems when it comes to normal socialization, as well. They tend to feel self-conscious about themselves, which can lead to feeling that they will always be outcasts. When allowed to work with their peers they can more easily make friends, this can also help them cope with the problems that come up around them.  Educating a child with autism should always have a goal of the child becoming integrated into the mainstream environment of the school.

A teacher's aide can also be very helpful to the autistic student. The aide should be able to devote more time explaining the teachers directions.  The teacher in a classroom with one or more autistic children may not have time to devote to the autistic child, without affecting the quality of the education process for the non autistic students. The aide should be able to assist the autistic child in order to allow them to stay at, or near same level as the rest of the class. This allows for a partially one-on-one lesson structure to help allow the autistic student to be able to stay in a regular classroom, but to also be given the extra help and attention that they require.

As a note of warning, many autistic students who do work one-on-one with a teachers aide do end up becoming dependent on this adult and will then have difficulties becoming independent, which should always be the goal when educating a child with autism .

As with non autistic students there are many different teaching techniques that teachers have available to assist their all of their students.  Every child is going to be different and teachers have to become familiar with the each individual child’s disorder, and be able to adjust the way they interact with each student.  This is true for the autistic student as well as the non autistic student.

Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders can experience higher levels of stress or anxiety, especially when placed in a social environment like school. If the student does exhibit aggressive behavior, or shows other signs of dangerous behavior, it is crucial that the educators be able to recognize the problem quickly, and be prepared to react swiftly to protect all of their students. This is why it is important that the student be prepared ahead of time when new and unfamiliar situations are approaching.

Systematic teaching guidelines such as, The Incredible 5-Point Scale, or other Cognitive Behavioral strategies can help with teaching a student to master their own abilities to control their behavioral reactions. This will in turn make educating a child with autism easier, even when the student has Autism Spectrum Disorders.

For more information about autism and the autistic community be sure to check out the resources available at answers-about-autism.

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