The inclusion of students with autism in the general education classroom is a relatively new practice, which means that many teachers are not adequately prepared to help these students thrive. Thankfully, recent research has shed light on practices that are effective for supporting students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the inclusive classroom. The following information provides an overview of evidence-based practices and highlights the conditions necessary for their use.
Self-regulation is defined as “the ability to manage thoughts and behaviors to accomplish specific tasks”. It is critical for children with ASD to develop self-regulation skills because these children often struggle with behavioral and emotional control (Gresham & Elliott, 1990). Effective instruction in self-regulation involves teaching students to recognize their emotions and identify strategies for managing them (Briesch et al., 2009). For example, a student might learn that if he feels angry, it helps him calm down to take deep breaths or go to a quiet spot in his classroom. Students must also be taught specific strategies for approaching challenging situations in the future (Briesch et al., 2009).
Teachers of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face many challenges, especially when they teach in inclusive classrooms. One of the most challenging aspects is meeting the needs of students with ASD while also engaging in best practices for teaching students with typical development. There are many ways that teachers can implement strategies to meet the needs of these students, including modeling, scaffolding, and chaining behaviors.
Modeling is an important strategy for teaching students with ASD because it allows them to visualize what they need to do and how they need to act. Teachers should use modeling for everyday tasks and activities as well as specific skills. For example, a teacher might use a model for lining up at the end of recess or a lesson on how to ask questions during class discussion. Students with ASD can benefit from both types of modeling strategies.
Scaffolding is another important strategy for teachers of students with ASD. Scaffolding can be used to help students learn new skills or practice existing ones through prompting and fading cues. For example, if a student does not understand how to perform a task on his own, the teacher could provide him with verbal prompts or physical prompts until he understands what he needs to do. Then the teacher could gradually fade out these prompts so that the student can perform.
The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is on the rise, and many schools are unprepared for this increase in special education needs. Educators are facing unprecedented challenges as they work to meet a growing demand for services while simultaneously needing to provide individualized instruction in the general classroom. This paper explores some of the most important considerations when teaching students with autism spectrum disorder in an inclusive classroom.
Inclusion of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in general education classrooms is becoming increasingly common in schools. There are many benefits to inclusion, including improved academic skills, better communication and socialization and increased self-awareness (Mesibov, Shea, & Schopler, 2005). As ASD prevalence increases and more students with ASD are being included in general education classrooms, it is important that teachers are trained to address their learning needs.
The following guide will provide you with resources to learn about the unique characteristics of ASD and how these characteristics can impact a student’s learning. You’ll also find strategies for working with students with ASD to support their academic success.
Students With Autism in the Classroom
Students with autism often struggle to succeed in school. In fact, according to a study conducted by the American Autism Association, students with autism are more likely to be bullied and less likely to finish high school than their neurotypical peers. As an educator, it’s important to create a classroom environment that allows all students, including those with autism, to feel comfortable and safe.
Stay organized. Studies have shown that students with autism respond positively and tend to work most efficiently in highly organized environments. Post daily and weekly schedules on the wall, as well as any rules or policies you have in your class. If a student has a question, they can simply refer back to these posted documents.
Be consistent. Students with autism are particularly sensitive to changes in routine because these changes can trigger anxiety within them. Try not to change anything about your lesson plan without giving the students ample warning beforehand. If you do need to make a sudden change in the routine, try your best to explain why the change is occurring and what steps you’re taking to minimize.
Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are increasingly being included in general education classrooms. These students have unique needs, and they require more support than their peers to be successful in school. The following is a list of strategies that teachers use to support students with ASD in the general education setting.
Get to know your student well. It’s essential to understand your student’s strengths and weaknesses so you can provide them with appropriate services and support in the general education classroom. Reach out to parents to learn about their child’s specific needs and preferences. Meet with the special education teacher or related service providers who work with your student outside of the classroom to understand what strategies are effective for them and how you can reinforce those strategies at school.
Teach social skills explicitly: Students with ASD may struggle to understand social cues, body language, and facial expressions, especially when new people are around or when they are feeling overwhelmed by other things going on at school. Help them learn how to interact appropriately with their peers by teaching them specific skills step-by-step and providing opportunities for practice.
Encourage independence: Students with ASD will often rely on adults for help if they don’t understand.
The benefits of having students with autism in the classroom have been increasingly well-documented. Not only do the autistic students benefit from being around their peers, the other students and teachers all benefit from the experience. Students with autism are sometimes able to show their fellow students a new way of looking at a problem that they might not have considered otherwise. The presence of a student with autism can also teach other children empathy and acceptance, which will help them to be better people as they grow into adulthood. Teachers who work with students with autism report feeling more fulfilled in their jobs, as they feel they are making a difference in their students’ lives on a daily basis. In short, everyone wins when we include autistic students in the classroom.
Autism is a developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two and a half years of life. It is associated with a wide range of symptoms and behavioral patterns that range from mild to severe. Autistic children may exhibit difficulty in all areas, such as social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They may also have unusual responses to the people, sights, sounds, smells and textures around them. Since every autistic person has a distinct combination of symptoms and each person’s behavior falls along a spectrum of severity, it can be very difficult for teachers to know how to handle them.
There are many ways that teachers can help students with autism in the classroom. Some children respond well to visual cues like a chart or laminated cards with pictures or words on them while others will respond better to verbal prompts or hand signals. A child may need some time away from the class when he becomes overwhelmed by stimuli or other sensory issues, which can cause feelings of anxiety or agitation in him. If this happens frequently throughout the day then it might be helpful for him to have his own special area where he can go when he feels overwhelmed without disrupting others’ learning experiences too much.