Strategiesand accommodations for learners with Autism Spectrum
Autismspectrum disordersdescribea set of lifelong development disabilities which affect howindividuals perceive what they hear, sense and see. The number ofindividuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has tremendouslygrown over the past few decades. Recent estimates indicate that theprevalence rates of children with ASD range between 6.5 and 6.6 per1000 children (Myers& Johnson,2007).Several studies report that thisincreasein the number of people with the disorder has led to an increase inthe number of students with ASD in the formal education system. Thishas posed uniquechallenges to educators in inclusive settings given the uniqueinstructional needs required by students with ASD.
ASDs,like other Neuro-development disorders, are for the most part not"reparable," and perpetual management is required. In spiteof the fact that results are variable, and particular behavioralattributes change after some time, most kids with ASDs display thesame behaviors even when they grow up. They often pay littleattention to their scholarly working and keep on encountering issueswith autonomous living, business, social connections, and mentalhealth. The essential objectives of treatment are to minimize thecenter elements and related shortfalls, boost useful freedom andpersonal satisfaction, and reduce family trouble (Myers& Johnson,2007).Encouraging advancementand learning, advancingsocialization, diminishing maladaptive practices and teaching, andsupporting families can achieve these objectives. In a perfect world,intercessions ought to moderate the main elements of ASDs.
Educationalmediations, including behavioral systems and habilitative therapies,are the foundations of managing ASDs. These mediations addresscorrespondence, social abilities, everyday living aptitudes, exerciseand relaxation aptitudes, scholarly accomplishment, and maladaptivepractices. Enhancement of medicinal consideration is likely to have apositive impact on the habilitative advancement and personalsatisfaction (Myers& Johnson,2007).Apart from ensuring that the standard preventive considerations areadhered to, the treatment of intense sicknesses may also be critical.However, drug therapies have not been shown to adjust the mainshortages of ASDs and are not the essential treatment.
Thespecial needs of students with ASDs
Whencompared to other school-age children, learners with ASD experiencedifferent thought processes and emotions. As a result, learners withASD tend to exhibit different behaviors and traits during schoolwork. They exhibit poor organizational skills and are often not sureabout where to start and where to end an activity. Apart from that,learners with ASD require instructions to be given out morefrequently and may feel that the social environment that surroundsthe school activities is not rewarding. However, most learners withASD exhibit visual strengths which mean that visual strategies arethe most effective strategies that can be used to improve theirunderstanding and participation in learning activities (O’Connor& Klein, 2004).
Thenumber of students with ASDs attending formal schools has gone upover the past few years. Through utilization of a variety of learningstrategies, most of these students are now able to attend evencolleges. Theparticular needs of learners with ASD may influence their achievementin inclusive learning settings in various ways. To begin with, theycan have difficulties participating in the classroom (O’Connor& Klein, 2004).This may incorporate comprehension and other challenges that arisewithinthe classroom environmentdueto the difficulties linked to separating pointless information fromimportant information (Denning& Moody, 2013).
Inspite of the fact that they can be great learners, those with ASD mayappear to be odd or unconventional with idiosyncratic behaviors andinterests. This often makes the presence of these students in theclass setting quite challenging, especially for those teachers wholack an understanding of the strengths and challenges learnerswith ASD have(O’Connor& Klein, 2004).Numerous students with ASD have social difficulties, incorporatingproblems with verbal and nonverbal communication. They may not beableto understandothers` points of perspective, have problems with alternating inconversations, speak in a loud or flat voice, and have problemsunderstanding sarcasm as well as jokes. In class, they may beengrossed with specific subjects, isolate themselves from otherstudents byavoiding class discussionsor may never speak by any stretch of the imagination. Students withASDare prone to isolationfrom everyone else and frequently experience issues perusing socialcues. This is especially valid in novel situations, such as theschool classroom, and their conduct may seem stiff or antagonistic(Odomet al., 2010).
Apartfrom that, learners with ASD have repetitive and limited activities.This often takes the form of having trouble conforming to change.Time administration can be troublesome, and learners may forget tokeep time and miss class or arrive before the arranged time toguarantee they get favored seating. Although a percentage of thealready specified attributes may be viewed as risky, there arevarious positive qualities connected with ASD (Denningand Moody, 2013).These learners have a tendency to be enthusiastic about their rangesof interest and seek after those regions with awesome energy. They"realize totally new possibilities," utilizing unique waysto deal with taking care of issues. Understudies with ASD tend toconsider guidelines important and take a faint perspective ofstandard breakers. As learners, numerous have a wide vocabulary, aregreat visual and spatial learners, and have great recollections(O’Connor& Klein, 2004).
Anotherconcern among learners with ASD is that the absence of motivation maybe found in assignment evasion and problematic conduct (e.g., crying,fleeing). Evidence shows that the capacity to pick up and maintainattention for successful classroom cooperation predictsaccomplishment among in preschool and elementary learners. Secondly,learners with ASD may have difficulties adapting new material in theclassroom (Odomet al., 2010).This may be clear when errands spot requests on subjectiveadaptability or preparing rate. Third, understudies with ASD mayexperience issues effectively finishing work in the classroom(Koegel, Singh, and Koegel, 2010). This may incorporate finishing,submitting, and comprehension desires for assignments. One test withtask finish may be identified with official working deficiencies inyoungsters with ASD. Official working identifies with the capacityfor people to arrange objective coordination. In particular, peoplewith ASD may experience issues learning tenets and systems, andseparating data (Goldstein et al., 2001).
Motivatingpeople who have ASDs is a crucial but a troublesome test. It is vitalin light of the fact that, by definition, they have confinedcollections of intrigues and abilities required for group living andadapting. Without arranged, positive encounters, these peopleregularly turn out to be progressively exploited by their extremeintrovertedness as they age (Simpson,2005).With effective encounters, each can be a victor who lives, works andplays in the group. It is troublesome at any rate to some degree inlight of the fact that, individuals who have extreme introvertednessare especially powerless against key components, which affectinspiration (Denningand Moody, 2013).A singular`s inspiration is emphatically impacted by: learninghistory, learning styles inward and outer motivators to take part inundertakings, desires of progress or disappointment with a specificerrand, seriousness and intentionality of the assignment from thepoint of view of the learner, and undertaking encompassing ecologicalvariables which influence consideration and accomplishment.
Errands and exercises that learners with ASDs associated with pastachievement have a tendency to arouse interest. Challenges thattrigger recollections of past nerves and disappointments have atendency to fortify shirking responses and self-safeguardingreactions. Albeit infrequent disappointment is frequently seen as atest by learners who are profoundly energetic to learn throughcritical thinking, rehashed disappointment encourages sentiments ofvanity and dissatisfaction in delicate learners who need fearlessnessand may need skills for errand related critical thinking (Simpson,2005).At the point when perseveringly connected, proactive systemsfrequently demonstrate fruitful in the long run inspiringconstructive, gainful reactions and pride in individual achievement.There are numerous strategies and accommodations that have beendeveloped to help learners with ASD. Some of the frameworks thatseek to accommodate learners with ASD include individualizededucational plans, the Universal Design for Learning Frameworks,Parent involvement, and Collaborative Planning.
Individualeducational plans for students with ASDs
Comingup with an instructional project for learners with ASDs involves alot of processes and activities. This is due to the fact that theselearners have critical contrasts from each other with regard tolearning styles, correspondence, social expertise advancement, andregularly have testing practices (Odomet al., 2010).There is impressive individual variability in how these attributesinfluence a specific individual. Instructional programs must beindividualized given the extraordinary needs and capacities of everyunderstudy. Knowing how the learners’ capacity to process data andconvey is influenced by autism is critical to arranging.
Theneeds of some of the learners with autism and the bolster required toaddress those issues now and again go past the order of theeducational system. To be more productive and have the best resultsfor the learners, a collective methodology among each one of thoseattempting to bolster them is alluring (Simpsonet al., 2003).Some school areas have thought that it is useful to createconventions with local agencies to facilitate cooperation and offersupport to the students and their families. Such conventions focus oncertain areas such as data sharing, specialized strategies, meetingareas, and regions of obligation. Such issues as administrationsuppliers from outside the school working with the understudy inschool can be managed easily when there is a convention (Iovannoneet al., 2003).
AnIndividual Education Plan (IEP) is created through a coordinatedeffort by a group of individuals who are involved with the learnerdirectly. These individuals include the classroom educator, folks,the learners themselves if appropriate as well as a special educationtutor. At times, the planning involves other individuals not directlylinked to the learners such as educator partners, discourse anddialect pathologists, conduct experts, and school therapists(Iovannoneet al., 2003).It is vital for school staff to know about intercessions beingutilized to bolster the understudy so that the school project can beas consistent as could reasonably be expected with that program ortreatment. Since learners with autism experience issues with change,it is essential to attempt to arrange so backings supplement oneanother (Odomet al., 2010).
Individualsupport and learning plans are important for those students who havebeen identified as having specific learning needs. Students with ASDsare normally stressed by noise and visual stimulation that isinherent in an open plan learning environment. Individual EducationPlans make it possible for teachers to identify and prevent suchstressors (Prein et al., 2014). The main purpose of an IEP is toguide the instructors and providing information regarding the type ofstrategies, adaptations, modifications as well as services that canbe used to support learners with ASD. Apart from containing personaland educational information about the learner, an effective IEP alsooutlines the strengths and weaknesses of the student. Additionally,it should outline both the long-term and short-term learning goalsand objectives. It is important that an IEP is revised on an annualbasis for the effectiveness of the student’s support program to beimproved (Pierangalo and Giuliani, 2012).
Universaldesign for learning for students with ASD
UniversalDesign for Learning (UDL) is a curriculum development principle thatemphasizes the importance of giving all people equal opportunities tolearn. The framework acknowledges the fact that learners have varyingneeds and abilities, and that this variability should be leveraged asopposed to being a challenge that needs to be overcome. The UDLframework allows for utilization of classroom-wide instructionalmethods together with individualization strategies, thereby making itpossible for the unique needs of students with ASD to be addressedwithin the formal classroom setting. The UDL principles alloweducators to come up with learning experiences that offer the sameopportunities for the diverse groups of students including those withASD. The framework makes it possible for various barriers to learningto be eliminated, thereby allowing students with ASD to have asses,take part and even move ahead in the general education curriculum.
Adefinitive motivation behind UDL is to offer all learners with thenecessary assistance to develop into master learners, that is,learners who set their learning objectives and screen theiradvancement toward those objectives. Master learners also comprehendthe assets they have to draw in with and persevere with learningundertakings in the administration of the learning objectives theyset. It is vital to take note of that UDL can help numerous learnerswith ASD learn at a rate that would empower them to advance throughthe general instruction educational modules close by or even pastthat of their companions. Numerous studies report that previously,scholastic expectations were low for these learners yet wheninstructors use UDL in their classrooms, all learners have expandedchances to go past repetition learning. Learners with ASD and theircompanions can completely draw in with substance while at the sametime moving toward the same learning objectives.
Justlike the individual Education Plans, UDL provides educators with thenecessary guidance and instructions on how to plan and deal with bothsystematic and expected variability among learners. The principlespresented under the framework focus on the needs of students,pointing out how each curriculum area should have flexible options.Under the UDL principles, educators have to provide multiple means ofrepresentation, diverse means of expression and action as well asnumerous means of engagement (Hall, Strangman, & Meyer, 2003).Multiple means of engagement include the different strategies thateducators use to draw the learner’s attention class activities.Such strategies include the utilization of materials and classstructures that promote the participation of ASD learners in classactivities. Diverse means of representation refer to the wayinformation is presented to learners. Under the UDL framework,educators have to make use of different means of presentinginformation such as hand-on-materials and visual aids. On the otherhand, multiple means of expression have to do with the different waysthrough with learners can show their understating of what has beenlearnt. Educators should allow ASD students to show what they havelearnt in different ways, such as drawing, singing, photo essays toname but a few.
Numerousstudies on the factors that influence the educational achievement ofstudents have placed emphasis on the role that parents play in theirchildren’s educational life. The partnership between parents andeducators makes it possible for the educators to obtain informationthat would allow them to understand the students better. Apart fromsupporting program planning, the involvement of parents in theeducational life of learners with ASD facilitates the establishmentof objectives as well as motivational strategies that would best workfor each learner. Consistent opportunities for discussion about theunique learning needs required by a learner, their learning progressand the need for adjusting allows for a collaborative partnershipbetween the school and home to be established. Parent involvement isalso necessary since the school environment is quite different fromthe home environment. Students with ASD find it challenging totransfer or generalize learned skills from one environment toanother. The collaborative relationship between school and home makesit possible for the same concepts and skills to be reinforced both inschool and at home. This, in turn, contributes to the increasedability of the students to learn
Parentswho are involved in the learning process of their children diagnosedwith ADS make it possible for educators to create an accommodatinglearning environment for these students. Parent involvementfacilitates the establishment of a strong communication channelbetween the school and home. Through this channel, importantinformation concerning the learners’ health as well as performancecan be relayed between the two parties. The involvement of parentsalso allows for reporting of behavioral difficulties experienced bythe learners at home to educators. This is because most parents knowabout the behavioral difficulties experienced by their children withASD.
Thisapproach aims at supporting learners with ASD by involving otherstakeholders such as parents in the planning of the students’learning programs. As mentioned earlier, learners with ASD havecontrasting needs and abilities. To meet their diverse needs, theresources, information and perspectives of various groups, includingparents, community professionals as well as educators and the schoolboard are required. These resources, information and perspectiveswould facilitate the enhancement of the program planning process.School-based- support teams, as well as multidisciplinary teamsconsisting of different professionals in the society, have proved tobe effective when it comes to the establishment of strategies thatwould best address the needs and abilities of students with ASD. Botheducators and parents are able to have a clearer understating of thelearners’ educational profile and get to know about otherstrategies and interventions that have proved to be effective withother learners with ASD.
Denning,C. B., & Moody, A. K. (2013). Supporting Students with AutismSpectrum Disorders in Inclusive Settings: Rethinking Instruction andDesign.ElectronicJournal for Inclusive Education, 3(1),6.
Iovannone,R., Dunlap, G., Huber, H., & Kincaid, D. (2003). Effectiveeducational practices for students with autism spectrumdisorders. Focuson Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 18(3),150-165.
Johnson,C. P., & Myers, S. M. (2007). Identification and evaluation ofchildren with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 120(5),1183-1215.
O`Connor,I. M., & Klein, P. D. (2004). Exploration of strategies forfacilitating the reading comprehension of high-functioning studentswith autism spectrum disorders. Journalof Autism and Developmental Disorders,34(2),115-127.
Odom,S. L., Collet-Klingenberg, L., Rogers, S. J., & Hatton, D. D.(2010). Evidence-based practices in interventions for children andyouth with autism spectrum disorders. Preventingschool failure: Alternative education for children and youth, 54(4),275-282.
Simpson,R. L. (2005). Evidence-based practices and students with autismspectrum disorders. Focuson Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities,20(3),140-149.
Simpson,R. L., de Boer-Ott, S. R., & Smith-Myles, B. (2003). Inclusion oflearners with autism spectrum disorders in general educationsettings.Topics in Language Disorders, 23(2),116-133.