Autism by yanyanliu123


									                          Autism Spectrum Disorder
                         What is Autism?                                   Frequency of occurrence
Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder, present from birth that       A prevalence study by the Australian Advisory Board
effects how a person communicates with and relates to other                on Autism Spectrum Disorders stated that 1 in 160
people (Beswick, 2004.) It is a spectrum condition, which means            Australian children aged between 6 and 12 have
that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, there       Autism Spectrum Disorder (Autism Queensland,
condition will affect them in different ways (Autism Queensland,           2010). However some researchers suggest this
2010) No two individuals with Autism experience it exactly the             number could be slightly higher. It is found that
same (Kluth, 2003). People with Autism may also experience over or         Autism is four more times common in boys than girls,
under sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colour        there is yet to find a reason behind this occurrence
(Autism Queensland, 2010). Although Autism is present from birth           (Ubelacker, 2011).
many children will not be diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum
Disorder till at least two years, in some cases much older (Beswick,
2004). All people with Autism can benefit from a timely diagnosis                           Learning Strengths
and access appropriate services and support (Rudy, 2011) Common
characteristics of autism include lack of eye contact, social
                                                                                   Learning routines
aloofness, difficulty with expressing needs verbally, repetition of
                                                                                   Learning small bits at a time
words or phrases, and responding differently to sensory input. It is
                                                                                   Understanding pictures
important to keep in mind that behaviours change over time as the
child develops and learns (Timmons, Breitenbach, Maclsaac, n.d.).

          Official diagnoses within the autism spectrum
                                                                                          Learning Weaknesses
                                                                           Autistic children have weaknesses in three main areas,
           Autistic disorder                                              which are known as the triad of impairment. They are
           Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise
            specified (PDD-NOS)
           Asperger syndrome,                                                     communication,
           Childhood Disintegrative Disorder                                       social interaction
           Rett Syndrome (Rudy,2011)                                               rigidity of thinking, problems with
                                                                                    imagination and creativity (Beswick, 2004)
                                                                                   Organisation and distractibility are two other
                 Additional Assistance Providers                                    weaknesses.
   Autism Help - The Department Of Human Services has funded a
   group of Case Consultant Practitioners to provide information
   and support to professionals working with people with autism.                               A must ‘Go to’
   The website listed below has contact numbers and addresses of
                                                                           Book- “You’re Going to Love This Kid!” – This
   consultants around Victoria.
                                                                           book is a practical book for ways to welcome and                   teach autistic students. It is all about an inclusive
   services/categories,id,478,1-1.aspx                                     classroom. It includes forms, checklists and planning
                                                                           tools and photos of curriculum adaptations, sensory
   Maximum potential kids- This website has training about                 supports and classroom scenes.
   strategies to use with autistic children for teachers and parents.

                                             Useful Resources for the classroom
Sensory box – Often autistic children have trouble staying still or focusing on one specific thing. By having something for the
student to hold or sit on can make a difference between a student’s presence and engagement within the classroom. The
sensory box should include items such as Koosh balls, small stuffed toys, stress balls, seat cushions and other similar items
(Kluth, 2003). By allowing them to access these items when felt needed will benefit them and the class.

“You’re Going to Love This Kid!”- This book includes activities to include in lessons, ideas for inclusion, checklist and
visual images.

Visual images- By having visual images of actions the students need to undertake within the classroom can make the process a
lot easier and faster. The images would include actions like snack, computer, story, bus.
                                               Classroom environment strategies

 Teaching communication and social competence – autistic children have undeveloped social skills so it is important to help
 them communicate with other students within the classroom. By including group work and role play within lessons allows for
 the autistic child, this allows for the child to practice his/her social skills (Fukunaga, Simonelli, Sperry, n.d.). Also by assigning
 partners during group work will assist the child with autism as they are often left unselected due to their undeveloped social
 skills (Fukunaga, Simonelli, Sperry, n.d.)
 Creating a classroom environment that includes all children- By creating activities that are open ended, child directed and
 student supported will include all students within the learning(Fukunaga, Simonelli, Sperry, n.d.). By delegating a role for a
 child with autism during group work allows them to contribute to classroom activities while being supported by their group.
 It also enhances their feelings of being on the same level as the rest of the students (Fukunaga, Simonelli, Sperry, n.d.)
 Including personalized Individualized education program (IEP) goals into the natural flow of classroom instruction- by
 including the student’s goals within the whole class activities helps the students feel as though they are at the same level as
 all the students but at the same time they are meeting their set goal. This will assist them in their development and they will
 feel a sense of achievement (Fukunaga, Simonelli, Sperry, n.d.)
 Physical layout of the classroom- to help students with autism focus on the task at hand it is important to mark out specific
 areas within the classroom such as individual work, group work, play, technology. This will also make the class run a lot
 smoother (Fukunaga, Simonelli, Sperry, n.d.)

                                  Individual Strategies to assist with inclusivity of a child

 Consistent work routines and visual components -Children with Autism have difficulty with organisation. When coming to
 complete a task they have to understand what they want to do and a plan for implementation. For children with Autism this
 is an obstacle. When faced with complex organisation demands they frequently immobilized, leaving them unable to start a
 simple task (Mesibov, 2012). To ensure that the child can complete given tasks as a teacher is important to developing
 systematic habits and work routines. Students with established work routines in which they know to go left to right and top
 to bottom do not stop their work in order to work out where to begin and how to proceed (Mesibov, 2012) Organisational
 difficulties are also minimized through checklists, visual schedules and visual instructions as it as it shows them what has to
 be done, what is completed and what needs to be completed next (Mesibov, 2012)
 Identify what distracts the students- Children with autism are distracted quite easily. The distractions differ from visual
 stimuli to auditory distractions and they also differ from child to child. In order to help their learning it is important identify
 what is distracting the child, this will require you to carful assess the student over time. Following these assessment
 environmental changes should be made, which might involve the physical make up of students work area, the arrangement
 of the classroom, presentation of work task, or many more possibilities (Mesibov, 2012)
 Breaks and movement- Some students work best when they can pause through a task and take a break. This could be a 5
 minute break after each activity. If students are able to communicate that they need breaks a special pass could be created
 for them. This would allow for them to have breaks to help with their concentration without disturbing the class(Kluth, 2003)
 Connections with fascinations- Autistic children are usually fascinated with one specific topic. Instead of trying to fade out
 their item of interest they should be used as a tool for inspiring learners and teaching standard based learning (Kluth, 2003)
 Safe space – A quite area should be available for autistic students who seem to need a safe haven. The library or a space in a
 hallway could be used for the student to move away from chaos in the classroom or when “things became too much”. Many
 individual with autism have stated the need for a retreat at times. (Kluth, 2003)


Autism Queensland. (2010, March ). How Common is Autism. Retrieved March 23, 2012, from
Beswick, C. (2004). Autistic Spectrum Disorders. London: A&C Black Publishers Limited.
Fukunaga, L. Simonelli, A. Sperry, L.. (n.d.). Individualized Educational Support Strategies for Students with Autism in Inclusive Classroom
Settings. Retrieved March 24, 2012, from Effective Practices Brief:
Kluth, P. (2003). You’re going to Love This Kid! America: Brookes Publishing Co.
Mesibov, G. (2012). Learning Styles of Children with Autism . Retrieved March 22, 2012, from TEACCH Autism Program:
Rudy,L.J. (2011,July 4). Autism Spectrum Disorders. Retrieved March 25, 2012, from What are the names for autism spectrum disorders:
Timmons, V. Bretenbach, M. Maclsaac, M. (n.d.). Educating Children about Autism in a Inclusive Classroom. Retrieved March 23. 2012, from
Ubelacker, S. (2011). Why more boys then girls have autism . Retrieved March 22, 2012, from Autism Support Network:

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