Autism & Education

See also:    Postsecondary Education    Secondary Education   

Internet Resources

The main goals of education for persons with autism are employability and independence. These goals can best be met through heterogeneous educational settings, i.e., significant integration of persons with autism into settings with normal peers.
Susan C. Hawkins
Your Guide to One of Over 700 Sites
Alter the physical environment, presentation of lessons, testing/evaluation procedures, design of materials; provide organizational assistance; employ effective motivational techniques.
James Messina, Constance Messina
Treat classmates with autism like people first. People with autism are just that: people who happen to have the disability of autism. Please avoid references to the autistic or the disabled.
Susan Moreno, Cathy Pratt
Appropriate educational placement must be based on a comprehensive assessment of the child's abilities, in particular their social reasoning skills.
Tony Attwood
Prepared so that families could have a short description of AS and its behaviors to share with their children's teachers. Use those items which are appropriate for your child and/or make changes and additions as necessary
Elly Tucker
The most important thing is to try to get to know him or her. Find out what their interests are and let them use them. Talk to them like you would talk to any of your other friends. You may have to be very patient. You may have to explain things.
What may look like laziness, disrespect or willful misconduct may actually be lack of understanding, anxiety, inability to take the perspective of others, or difficulty with communication.
Karen Phillips
Practical techniques and tips to help make the classroom experience successful for a child with AS and his or her teacher and classmates.
The worse mismatch possible, namely of individuals with a very naive understanding of social situations in a mix with those who can and do manipulate social situations to their advantage without the benefit of self-restraint.
Ami Klin, Fred Volkmar
The strategies discussed are the result of real work in real schools. They reflect the ingenuity of dedicated teachers, learning support assistants and parents/carers. Most importantly they reflect upon the amazing nature of pupils with autism.
Mick Connelly, Lancashire LEA, Department of Education and Skills
This overview, therefore, cannot be anything but a brief introduction, to be followed up by consultations with the educational psychologist, paediatrician, or speech therapist, or by reference to wider reading.
Mike Connor
The number of children with autistic spectrum disorders in schools in Britain exceeds current prevalence rates. It also gives the schools perspective on the major barriers to education provision for children with autistic spectrum disorders.
Students with autism have remarkable success when given early and consistent guidance in communicative and sensory areas. Early intervention is critical for developing communication skills and encouraging peer interaction.
Lisa Batchelder
As the number of children diagnosed with autism continues to climb nationwide, public school districts are finding it hard to keep keep pace with some of their classroom needs, in particular with providing enough speech pathologists to serve them. Today autistic children make up more than one-third of the special education population, according to the California Department of Education. California guarantees special education services for autistic children, who traditionally have communication troubles that can range from being completely nonverbal to other limited language usage. But even as school officials search from New York to New Mexico for hires, they're finding it extremely challenging to meet classroom demands. Many are wondering why.
Sue Doyle, Los Angeles Daily News
Frequently changing conceptualizations of autism have caused widespread confusion over its precise nature and aetiology. This study aimed to investigate teachers' views of autism, together with their training needs. The Stone Autism Questionnaire (1987) was modified and used to evaluate the level of knowledge and understanding among a sample of 72 teaching and support staff from four mainstream and four special (non-autism) schools in South London. Ten mental health professionals working in the field of autism completed the same questionnaire as a 'control' measure for comparison. Teachers and support staff were found to hold a number of views about autism that were significantly different from those of mental health professionals; the majority had received little or no training regarding the disorder. All three groups were unanimous in their demand for more training. The results have serious implications for the educational experiences and developmental achievements of children with autism in schools in England.
Sarah Helps et al
As educators and parents become more cognizant of the impact they have on the growing brain, they often begin asking, "How does the human brain work and what can I do to nurture its covert operations?"
Kenneth A. Wesson
Caring and dedicated teachers, who communicate openly with students and parents, are widely viewed as the chief facilitators of success for students with disabilities at charter schools and as a feature that distinguishes the charter schools from other public schools. Small school and class size, individualized instruction, specific instructional approaches, and high academic standards are additional beneficial features that are cited frequently by parents, staff, and students.
Thomas A. Fiore, Lessley M. Harwell
a diagnostic label of autism or AS does not point to some simple or unitary system of management; rather, it is a matter of selecting a range of educational and behavioural strategies in order to match the needs of the individual child.
Mike Connor
Use of visual methods of teaching, as well as visual support strategies, should always be incorporated to help the child with Asperger's Syndrome better understand his environment.
Susan Stokes
Autistic spectrum children often will be uncontrollable unless the setting is correct, they won't pay attention to the curriculum unless properly motivated, and the curriculum itself (along with setting and motivation) is the key to maintaining control.
Mitzi Waltz
In this chapter, we will first lay the groundwork and present reading as a cognitive activity. Then we will provide a discussion of PASS and the PASS Reading Enhancement Program (PREP) that focuses on cognitive remediation of reading problems. This description is followed by a review of PREP studies. Finally, we conclude this chapter by reporting results from an ongoing longitudinal study utilizing both PASS and PREP.
J.P. Das et al
The curriculum interfaces developmental and functional considerations for the children. Curriculum resources used are: Callier-Azusa Scale, Brigance Developmental Inventory, Syracuse Community Referenced Curriculum Guide, Indiana Resource Guide
Michael J. Palladino
If by education we mean encouraging someone to reach his full potential as an individual, then clearly the questions of participation and compliance to the education which aims to do this are highly pertinent. We should also not dismiss outright as inconceivable or technically unacceptable the possibility that there could be forces at play within the pupil's psychological makeup that are counter-educational and which, if activated, could put the pupil's engagement in education at risk.
Herve Benoit
Parents with handicapped children in Japan have been supporting and educating their children all by themselves because they fear that the future of their children only depends on the parents.
Yutaka Sato
Cooperative learning exercises aid in the NLD students' academic learning process, foster social skills, provide an opportunity for these students to display their strengths, and provide a means for them to make friends.
Pamela Tanguay
The largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted.
Structured teaching is being used more and more as the basis of educational approaches for persons with autism. It is an effective way of teaching children with autism and of enhancing their chances of integrating successfully into the wider community.
Paul Paschalis, Stella Christodoulou
Learning Individually: The Key to Curricular Adaptations; Summer is a Time for Thinking Ahead; Determining Individual Student Expectations; Structure of the Lesson; Using Alternative Activities; One Parent's View of Curricular Adaptations
Alice Udvari-Solner, Julie Frentz
Teachers who are on the front lines can see the reality of how difficult inclusion can be for some kids; how specialized the teaching must be for some ASD kids. (Meanwhile, bureaucrats are as ever in charge, most so of the budget.) Teachers need adequate and continual supervision by real autism experts who understand our children--you are more than right to say that "attitude doesn't get the job done." But holding those who oversee our children's education and future can.
Wade Rankin
A mother has revealed that her teenage son has been kept at home for more than a year because his special educational needs are so severe he cannot go to a mainstream school.
Sophie Kummer, Barnet and Potters Bar Times
Educating Children with Autism outlines an interdisciplinary approach to education for children with autism. This is a full-length book.
Committee on Educational Inverventions for Children with Autism, National Research Council
Course syllabus, University of Washington College of Education
Debbie Staub
As family members and professionals choose educational options for their son/daughter with autism, remember to teach skills that lead to meaningful outcomes, and prepare individuals for real work and community participation.
Cathy Pratt, Scott Bellini
Although Asperger syndrome shares some characteristics with higher-functioning autism, there are some unique features, and a different developmental progression and prognosis.
Saskatchewan Special Education Unit
Educational programming for students with autism often addresses a wide range of skill development including academics, communication and language skills, social skills, self-help skills, behavioral issues, and leisure skills.
One of the world's leading nonprofit education and health organizations, involved in curriculum development.
National Autistic Society
Problematic behaviours are not, generally, a problem with root in the difficulties or alterations in the fellow who presents them, but rather has their roots in the social system that conform he/ she and his/ her nearer environment.
Salvador Repeto
A complete online resource guide where educators can start each day to find the lesson plans and research materials they are looking for.
This paper will consider the educational implications of the dual condition, but first it will establish the importance, for educational practice, of recognising both conditions.
Rita Jordan
This project was undertaken to identify child characteristics associated with educational placement and service use in high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders. The sample of 101 (nine females) had a mean age of 12 +/- 3 years (mean IQ = 101.77 +/- 19.50). Results indicate that lower-cognitive ability and communication skill were associated with placement in special education. Based on parent-report, most students stayed in the same placement (regular or special education) in which they began first grade and the majority of students received special services in their schools (most often speech/language intervention). Findings highlight the emphasis placed on certain child characteristics (e.g., cognitive ability), with far less emphasis on other areas (e.g., degree of social deficit), in educational placement and service provision.
SW White
The source of children's problems can usually be traced to curriculum, teacher, administrative, parent or child factors, but informal school policy (school culture) dictates that staff conclusions about problems be limited to child and family factors.
Pamela Darr Wright
So we have a situation where over half of a pupil group with a disorder that is famous for affecting their ability to communicate with NT's and whom SENCO's, parents, teachers, and the Audit Commission believe are not being supported properly in mainstream education are actively excluded from an educational environment that would directly benefit them and allow them to prosper in an educational environment that is right for them. What could possibly be the reason for this situation? It seems to me that there can only be 2 possible conclusions for this. Firstly, the exclusion of ASD pupils from an education based on need and the intention to reduce Statements could be a moral imperative that the Government feel -- that inclusion is the best way to integrate various strands of society. Or it could be that its cheaper to place as many kids as possible, regardless of need, in one environment. I leave it to you to make your own mind up on that.
Kevin Leitch
Its my contention that there are not enough dedicated autism units in this country- its only possible to get less than half of the ASD pupil population into dedicated autism units due to a lack of places. I've discussed why I feel that every pupil with an ASD should have access to a dedicated autism unit placement in a seperate article -- suffice it to say I believe it is wrong to deny a pupil what is potentially their best opportunity for an education and that educational choices should be about need rather than policy or finance. I've also discussed why I feel that mainstream education is not always the best thing for a pupil with an ASD. In this article I'll discuss why Special Schools are not always the best thing for a pupil with an ASD either.
Kevin Leitch
Questions about appearance of eyes, complaints when using eyes at desk, behavioral signs of vision problems, eye movement abilities, eye teaming abilities, eye-hand coordination, visual form perception, refractive status
Optometric Extension Program Foundation
This guide and checklist has been prepared to assist all school personnel and consulting clinicians in making reliable observations of children's visual behavior that could be interfering with academic progress
Optometric Extension Program Foundation
Provides a resource collection, lesson plans, question archive, and ERIC Database. A project of the Information Institute of Syracuse
Early intervention can ameliorate and in some cases prevent developmental problems; result in fewer children being retained in later grades; reduce educational costs to school programs; and improve the quality of parent, child, and family relationships.
Christine Salisbury, Barbara Smith
Curriculum content; supportive teaching environments and generalization strategies; need for predictability and routine; functional approach to problem behavior; transition planning from early childhood program to elementary school; family involvement
Susan Stokes
The child with autism does not automatically look for or easily see a structure in the world around them. They are disorganised in space and time. They learn best in a structured environment that has few distractions.
Autism Association of the ACT
The most effective models of intervention for individuals with autism/PDD are those which create learning environments that prevent behaviour problems and enhance skill development.
Margaret Whelan, Neil Walker
School personnel often think the parent is too involved with the child's needs or has become an enabler. For many school personnel, it is simply easier to blame the parent or the child than to do things differently.
The ERIC Clearinghouse for Disabilities and Gifted Education was disbanded by the US Government as of December 19, 2003. This is an archive of the material available on that site at that time created by Hoagies' Gifted Education Page.
Offers a unique and effective program for students with learning difficulties. There are very few technologically advanced programs that approach specific areas of educational therapy.
From Foundations of Collaborative Teamwork
Beverly Rainforth
Keep expectations high. Deal with the child in a consistent fashion and follow through on their requests to him/her. Determine what function behavior serves for the child. Ignore temper tantrums. Avoid unnecessary routine.
Dave Mikkelsen
Being truly outstanding in any field may be associated with some type of abnormality. At what point does a brilliant computer programmer or engineer get labeled with Asperger's?
Temple Grandin
Nonviolent approach for helping people with special needs and sometimes challenging behaviors.
Advocates of gentle teaching approaches to helping individuals with disabilities focus on feelings (especially those of caregivers) and relationships. They view traditional behavioral approaches as being manipulative and, at times, even violent. While personally I believe that criticisms of behavioral theory as being manipulative were addressed effectively years ago by B.F. Skinner in Beyond Freedom and Dignity, there is nonetheless some value in all of us infusing our work with a bit of "active humanism." In today's podcast, I stretch a bit beyond a focus on Asperger's Syndrome and Autism, to talk about gentle teaching and developmental disabilities. I interviewed David Yeiter of Monadnock Developmental Services who is a strong advocate of this type of approach.
Larry Welkowitz
Rewards and punishments are not only ineffective at motivating studentsóand adults, for that matteróbut are in fact counterproductive. Students punished for misbehavior -- say, made to stand in a corner for hitting another child -- are likely to become covertly disobedient. Students rewarded for good work -- say, given candy or gold stars for a clever science project -- are more likely to lose interest in the very activity for which they were rewarded.
David Ruenzel
Children of wealth could attend private schools: the overt goal of the compulsory public educational system, wrote Felbiger, was to make lower-class students 'content with the station into which they are born.'
Thom Hartmann
The general aim of this study was to examine perceptions about autism in regular education (n 5 35) and special education (n 5 29) teachers attending the second year of their in-service training. Data were collected through a series of written questions covering four areas of interest (general information, aetiology, behavioural characteristics, treatment). The analysis of findings revealed some confusion in regard to the causes of the syndrome in both groups of teachers. However, special education teachers were more likely to identify correctly the specific characteristics of autism. Regular and special education teachers also identified different instructional priorities in the treatment of autism. The practical implications of these findings for in-service training are discussed.
Sophia Mavropoulou, Susana Padeliadu
Our brains are not heavily pre-programmed but they develop largely through experience. Early experiences in particular have a profound influence on how our brains are structured and our minds develop.
David Winkley
Traditional behavioral management views the individual as the sole problem and seeks to fix him/her by quickly eliminating the challenging behavior. PBS views such things as settings and lack of skill as parts of the problem and works to change those.
Council for Exceptional Children
If the child is not being happily socialized now, you have nothing to lose. Fortunately, many of those kids who make life difficult for other children do grow up and may become adults with more open and caring spirits.
Martha Kate Downey
The Idea Exchange: What is it?; Ideas for Home-to-School Communication; 'How Was Your Day?' Designing Home-to-School Communication for Your Child.
The needs and talents, strengths and weaknesses of the individual child must be carefully considered - no one type of school will benefit every child with autism.
C.I. Rathbone
We need to understand that kids go to school for a living. That's their job. What if you hated your job? What if your days were filled with conflict and you were misunderstood by your colleagues and superiors? (Instructor)
Richard Lavoie
Amanda Batten
Inclusion should never replace a full continuum of service delivery, with different students with autism falling across the full spectrum.
Teaching autistic children requires professional expertise - and autistic professionals, as any parent of an autistic child will tell you, are more rare than platinum.
Vivien Sheffield
To be sure, federal law still requires that a full continuum of placement options be available to each special education student and that placement decisions be made by the Individual Education Program (IEP) team, based on the student's needs. But as you can see, inclusion is the norm.
Nancy Salvato, American Daily
Children with special needs are now part of the regular classroom. Teachers seeking success with inclusion will find help and inspiration here.
You can gain experience, if you are careful to avoid empty redundancy. Do not fall into the error of the artisan who boasts of twenty years experience in his craft while in fact he has had only one year of experience --twenty times. -- Trevanian
Our co-founders have combined experience of over 40 years as educational psychologists working across the UK. We offer training and workshops on Circles of Friends and peer support, mainstreaming autistic students, person-centered planning, strategies for increasing inclusive practices, behavioral concerns, restorative justice, and the emotional needs of boys.
Colin Newton, Derek Wilson
A 90-item self-report questionnaire designed to assess the level of teacher distress in relation to a specific child in his or her class.
Ross Greene, Richard Abidin
The findings indicate that although it takes a longer time for children with autism to learn with incidental teaching procedures, once they have acquired an ability, it may be more permanent.
Frederika M. Miranda-Linne
You can learn how to observe your students to discover their strengths and weaknesses, translate body language, unravel the ways they process language, appreciate indications of humor, and interpret different kinds of behavior and its intent
Robin M. Smith
The strategies presented here are a compilation of specific strategies that we have found helpful with some students with ASD-- as well as with other students -- and we do not mean to imply that the needs of this student population are all the same. In fact, based on our experiences, we recognize that what works for one student may not work for another; and students with ASD have their own individual personalities that we need to take into consideration.
Susan Unok Marks et al
The use of transition and having an effective transition team in place allows a smooth change for the PDD-NOS and special needs child as they progress through their early childhood education
Gregory Barrett
As more diagnosticians started to identify these kids, it became apparent to me that Asperger syndrome is an intact population and that it is a diagnostic group independent of any other group that falls on the spectrum of autism.
Richard Simpson
Appropriate education for students with ASD is research driven and individualized to their multifaceted cognitive, social-cognitive, and extant learning need, enabling these students to function with greater effectiveness in the world beyond school.
Diane Twachtman-Cullen
Federal law requires a continuum of options for educating students with disabilities. Parents of students with autism have fought hard and long to turn a mandate into a reality. However, are we still robbing the higher-functioning students with Asperger's Syndrome of just those same options?
Gretchen Mertz
What kind of journey is childhood according to most educators? I think the journey they are talking about does not include children who take a circuitous route or walk too slow. It is a journey that follows a straight path marked by milestones -- developmental milestones -- carved in stone and embedded deeply in the ground. I don't believe that most educators truly believe that childhood is "a" journey, because if it were any journey it could start anywhere, follow any path, go at any speed, stop at any rest stop, and end in places not necessarily intended or expected.
Lisa Jean Collins
I have described some of the elements that I combined to create an optimal learning environment for her, and strategies that I used to successfully teach this student. I focused on her attention and basic needs.
Sharon Cummins
To move past their fear of disabilities and negative perceptions of students with disabilities, they had to learn to see children with disabilities in new ways, identify what it was about their differences that mattered, and respond to them as valued members of their classrooms.
Elizabeth M. Altieri
Functional educational programming for students with autism looks beyond the school room, the school building, the school day and the school year. It looks to life in the 'real world' as its reference point.
Edna Smith Herron
Educators attempt to teach to a child's strengths, and for children with autism, that would be the visual. Learning sight vocabulary and then learning phonics generalizations through a program such as Words Their Way, and doing lots of reading seems to be an appropriate way to teach reading to children with autism, and it was, in fact, the way that I taught my own son to read when he was five years old.
Donna Rosinski
Results indicate that pupils with autism are just being placed in mainstream schools with most of the targets of inclusive education being disregarded especially in the case of those diagnosed as severe in the Autistic Spectrum
Mark Curmi, Lawrence Darmanin
A naturalistic study of six naturally occurring friendships among preschool-aged children with and without disabilities in inclusive settings was conducted with the children, their parents, and teachers. Data were collected through participant observations and interviews. Descriptive field notes, a fieldwork journal, and transcribed interviews were inductively analysed. Analysis uncovered descriptions, meanings, and revealed various perspectives regarding the friendships studied including those of the children, parents, and teachers. The friendships are described as typical and portray characteristics that are common among friendships during the preschool-age period. The friendships were dynamic and changed throughout the course of the study. Several factors influenced the formation of the friendships including: similarity in play styles; the opportunity to engage in similar activities; similar knowledge and interests; proximity; and parental factors. Implications for further research are discussed.
Sylvia L. Dietrich
The history of special education is largely one of exclusion - the more students in mass education Systems have failed to learn and behave in a manner deemed appropriate to mainstream schools, the more they have been squeezed out of the schools or the mainstream curriculum.
Sue Tomlinson
Drawing up a for and against list based on the needs of the child can sometimes help Ė then match which ever provision comes closest to meeting the criteria used.
Mike Collins
In recent years the definition of autism has been expanded to include milder conditions. As Chicago-area schools find themselves faced with increasing numbers of such students, knowledge of techniques to help the children learn is becoming more important.
Mary Jane Bezark
The curriculum is the Core Knowledge Curriculum accompanying a social skills curriculum which is integrated though out the student's day.
How do you work with this child? You train the kid to self-monitor. You formally teach social rules and practice them with the kid. You help the kid learn in whatever way is best for him. You protect him from abusive and destructive teachers and administrators and the disciplinarians in the system. You smother him with positive reinforcement every step of the way. You assure that he gets the physical and human aides necessary to make it through critical transitions and beyond. You shower good teachers and service providers with recognition, praise, and public thanks. And, as a parent, you vigilantly expect the next bomb, the next event.
Roger N. Meyer
Helps individuals with autism reach their fullest potential as productive, socially connected, personally fulfilled individuals. Provides support necessary to establish appropriate educational and community programming in the least restrictive environment
Forcing people to sit in a chair and listen (or read) dry, formal words (with perhaps only a few token images thrown in) is the slowest, least effective, and most painful path to learning.......
Kathy Sierra
Increased motivation results from experiences which teach people how to interact with both social and physical environments in ways that result in positive outcomes.
Rozella Stewart
Software must be carefully evaluated and trailed with the student(s) before proper assessment of the software can be made. Using multimedia with students who have special needs is a difficult issue to address as the needs of children are so varied.
Gerry Kennedy
At 14, my son has reached a major crossroads in his life -- but he doesn't even know it. While other boys his age prepare for high school and ultimately college, he is now being channeled into a strictly vocational track, to a world of lowered expectations and dim hope -- and is losing his academics altogether.
Susan Senator
A majority of the parents reported their child's experience was comfortable and positive, had a positive effect on their child's social/emotional growth, and did not interfere with their child receiving a good education
Michael F. Giangreco, Susan Edelman, Chigee Cloninger, Ruth Dennis
Teacher abuse is the single biggest reason that our schools are dysfunctional. Teachers are frightened into submission, afraid to speak out against detrimental administrative choices that are harming our children. Our educational system operates more like organized crime, than a profession. Many of our districts are closer to a tyrannical dictatorship than a healthy hierarchy.We need an organization to force accountability and reform upon our schools to protect our children and make teaching a profession.
Independent body undertaking research and development projects in all sectors of the public education system.
"As we studied and looked at other programs that used [the] best practices, one clear pattern emerged. No school had more than 30 students," Pagliaro said, referring to the number of students in private schools that specialize in autistic populations. Each student at the charter school has his own teacher.
The school-aged child with NLD often evidences delays in motor development, decreased exploratory activity as a preschooler, hypoactivity, poor peer relationships, an over dependency on parents, and pragmatic deficiencies in language usage
Margaret Kay
Aside from innate skills, all learning breaks down to repetition and reward. Forget about everything else, start with these two things and we're on the path to success. It's true for learning how to hit a baseball and it's true for learning behavior appropriate for the classroom... Of course, the type of repetition and reward must vary. Visual learners will need visual supports as part of the repetition. The amount of repetition needed will vary between persons and situations. The reward also changes. It's amazing how positively my son has responded to the praise and positive feedback throughout the day. My initial thought was that several hundred times a day was too much and that the tangible rewards purchased by the tokens would become to important. I sure was wrong.
Along the Spectrum
The determination of what is true or acceptable or best in a particular social (or educational) system is typically made, in the end, by those with the power to make the determination stick.
Margi Nowak
Paraprofessionals in the Classroom: What Role Do They Play? My Child Has a New Shadow... And it Doesn't Resemble Her! Create-A-Team! Dream Your Team Meeting; etc.
Some of the following ideas may assist parents and professionals to build a team that puts children first through communication, planning together, and finding ways to support each other no matter what difficulties arise.
Patti McVay
Paraprofessionals can assist in designing and implementing curriculum adaptations, but the responsibility for curriculum decisions lies with the student's teachers.
Julie Donnelly
A growing number of community childcare programs are including children with developmental disabilities. While some studies have explored the effects of inclusion for preschool and school-age children without disabilities, there is little knowledge about inclusion for typically developing toddlers enrolled in such programs or about parent attitudes regarding inclusion. In this study, parent perceptions of the benefits and limitations of their child's toddler program (inclusion or typical) were assessed. Parents from both programs gave comparable responses to a semi-structured survey with regard to changes in their child's development and parental level of satisfaction. Parent feedback from the inclusion childcare program also provided insight into the advantages of an inclusion program. These findings suggest that there is little differentiation between inclusion programs and regular childcare programs in providing a quality experience for all children, but that there may be additional benefits to enrolling children without disabilities into inclusion programs.
Aubyn Stahmer et al
The results of this review are based on data from two studies. Two significant results were found to favour parent training in one study: child language and maternal knowledge of autism. In the other, intensive intervention (involving parents, but primarily delivered by professionals) was associated with better child outcomes on direct measurement than were found for parent-mediated early intervention, but no differences were found in relation to measures of parent and teacher perceptions of skills and behaviours.
T. Diggle, Medscape
from Collaborative Teams for Students with Severe Disabilities
Beverly Rainforth
This study investigated the attitudes of 354 Australian parents who have a child with a disability and who attends a state school in Queensland. The types of disability of the children were broadly in accordance with accepted prevalence figures, except for a greater number reported as having autistic spectrum disorder and fewer students with a learning difficulty/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The children were in a range of classes, from special schools to schools where there was in-class help from a special teacher or teacher aide. Many of the parents favoured inclusion, some would if additional resources were provided, and a small group of parents favoured special placement. There were a limited number of negative attitudes to inclusion reported by the parents, and though some parents thought that some need existed for in-service education about inclusion, this was not a widespread view.
John Elkins, Christina E. van Kraayenoord and Anne Jobling
Regardless of the grade level or the area of need, peers have been crucial in helping students with autism spectrum disorder to succeed in typical school and community activities.
Cathy Pratt
Visual representations of time and place will help the child with autism place meaning on such abstract ideas. Visual features of structure that have been proven useful are: physical organization, scheduling and teaching strategies.
Jacque Rogers
Students with and without disabilities are expected to adjust to changes in teachers, classmates, schedules, buildings, and routines. The transition from one grade to the next can be especially challenging for the student with ASD.
Cathy Pratt
The purpose of this paper is to describe selected interventions (implemented in clinics or specialized settings) and consider the compatibility of these interventions with general education placement.
Cathy Pratt
When we begin the curriculum adaptation process by first choosing the adaptation method, we are putting the cart before the horse. Instead, the first task is to decide what we want the student to learn-- their personal learning goals.
Julie Donnelly
Understand the hyperlexic learning style; observe and listen to the child to find the holes in language development; create concrete, specific activities that use this unusual learning style as a way to fill up the holes.
Susan Martins Miller
School systems that exclude parents from key decision-making, and fail to promote a sense of teamwork between themselves and parents are significantly limiting their chances for successfully delivering services to students with autism.
Scott Bellini, Cathy Pratt
We have a public school system which has as its primary goal the socialization of our children. A willingness to comply, to go along, to submit to the authority of the system and the teacher is more important than intelligence or curiosity or creativity.
Thom Hartmann
Peter Farrell, Konstantina Tsakalidou
The recommendations cover several topics including, the use of schedules, adapting academic material for students with autism, developing social skills, and managing behavior.
Kerry Hogan
Tools for learning, especially for people who learn differently or who have learning difficulties or specific learning disabilities.
Although collaboration and consultation that lead to better implementation of research in the special education classrooms are desirous objectives we do not know at this time the effect this has on student learning or how broadly we can implement this as recommended by Abott et al. (1999). Problems such as the ethics of focus on classroom research, research design, external/internal validity, skill level in problem solving of the researcher, and delivery of services relative to the nearness of a university must be addressed before we know how useful the Abott et al. (1999) research truly is for consulting to provide data driven practices for students on the autism spectrum.
There is perhaps no disorder more prone to be misunderstood than ASD. This can result in responses to a student's behavior that from the student's perspective are illogical and confusing, and ultimately ineffective and counterproductive.
Carol Gray
Characteristics include difficulty with receptive and expressive language; lack of social-relatedness skills; sensory integration problems/hypersensitivity; rigid, concrete thinking patterns; inability to organize or put limits on their own behavior.
Arlington (VA) Public Schools
Clearly, effective communication is essential to ensure that all involved in the individual's life have accurate and important information to guide programming decisions.
Cathy Pratt, Susan Moreno
Educating an Asperger student in the least restrictive environment usually means that he will be in a regular classroom for a good part of the school day. I propose that it is unfair to the student, however, to place him in a regular classroom without several basic supports: an IEP, help in developing social skills, protection from bullying and teasing, trained teachers and paraprofessionals, positive behavior interventions, respect for his coping limitations and a 'safe place', a modified curriculum including homework modifications.;
Annette Wilkes
The Sullivan School has only 42 students in grades 1-5, and staff know each student real well. I interviewed 3rd grade teacher, Molly Linn, who allowed me to record our brief telephone conversation a couple of days ago. We talked about the individualized nature of the awards and also about Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence models, and even about Roger Barker's work on the advantage of small schools vs. big schools.
Larry Welkowitz
Magic Water; I'm so Glad I Came to school; Tidy Up; Make a Lap; The Snap Rap; Tighten-Relax; Ten in the Bed
The use of the term neurodiversity is not an attempt to whitewash the suffering undergone by neurodiverse people, nor to romanticize what many still consider terrible afflictions (see Peter Kramer's attack on so-called romanticizers of depression). Rather, its use seeks to acknowledge the richness and complexity of human nature, and specifically, of the human brain. The more we study the brain, the more we understand that it functions, not like a computer, but more like a rainforest (see Gerald Edelman's work in this regard). The "brainforest," in fact, may serve as an excellent metaphor to use in the neurodiversity field to talk about how the brain responds to trauma by redirecting neurological pathways, and how genetic "flaws" may bring with them advantages as well disadvantages. Disorders such as autism, ADHD, bipolar depression, schizophrenia, and dyslexia have been in the gene pool for a long time. There must be a reason why they're still there. The work of evolutionary psychobiologists and evolutionary psychologists represent a key component in exploring this fascinating question.
Thomas Armstrong
This article presents a study of teacher language theories and their classroom practices for students identified as English learners who have moderate to severe disabilities. Fifteen special education teachers located in southern California were interviewed regarding their classroom practices and language decisions for their second language learning students. Qualitative analysis of the coded transcripts revealed that most parents were not included in the language of instruction decision. Implicit language development theories, teacher's perceived future life roles for their students, and a nationality theory contributed to the language of instruction decision made by the teachers. These beliefs interacted with resource availability and teacher understandings of state and federal law influencing classroom practice.
George Singer
EDEN Foundation is a non-governmental organisation in Malta that was established in 1992 which works in partnership with people with developmental disabilities to help them achieve full inclusion to the best of their abilities
Doreen Mercieca
To effectively teach autistic students a teacher must provide structure, i.e., set up the classroom so that students understand where to be, what to do, and how to do it, all as independently as possible.
Structured teaching is a system for organizing their environments, developing appropriate activities, and helping people with autism understand what is expected of them.
Susan Stokes
Special education students who are involved in serious misconduct are being disciplined in generally a similar manner to regular education students, based on the information principals reported to us and our review of the limited extant research.
United States General Accounting Office Report to the Committees on Appropriations
From Support Networks for Inclusive Schooling
William Stainback, Susan Stainback
These notes are intended as a basic guide to the difficulties likely to be experienced by students with Asperger syndrome and to the possible ways in which tutors and lecturers can help to minimise the impact of such difficulties on their studies.
Anglia Polytechnic University
One specific change that may occur every year is the transition from grade to grade. Each year the student must adjust to changes in staff, schedules, routines, peers, programs, buildings and expectations.
South Dakota University Affiliated Program Autism, Related Disorders Program
Summer school is an excellent opportunity to relax the strict routine of the regular school year, add outdoor activities, and plunge into community-based instruction. With planning, you and the students can do more than you thought possible.
Susan Hawkins
This article provides educators with strategies that will help children practice and learn the classroom and life rules that many students naturally acquire; moreover, these strategies represent good teaching practices that benefit all children.
Joan Safran
Effective support requires individualized practices which address primary areas of difficulty in social understanding and interactions, pragmatic communication, managing anxiety, preferences for sameness and rules, and ritualistic behaviors.
Cathy Pratt, Steve Buckmann
The following questions are designed to remind you of programming issues you might not be thinking about in your hectic daily schedule. Use one of the questions as a focus for the next team meeting in which you participate.
Joan Armstrong
Children go to school for a living. School is their job, their livelihood, their identity. Therefore, the critical role that school plays in the child's social development and self-concept must be recognized.
Richard Lavoie
This article reports a study of support for pupils with autism in a Scottish education authority. The pupils attend mainstream classes in primary schools but receive additional support from an outreach service. The study aimed to understand the nature of outreach support from a mainstream teacher's point of view. The principal data of the project were interview transcripts from a critical-case sample of five schools. The data were subjected to two levels of analysis. First, they were grouped under five themes concerning teachers' perceptions of support: speech and language therapy; parents, special assistants, communications, and the existing generic learning support team. Second, these five themes were reassembled as a textural and structural analysis which identified areas which influenced teachers' perception of their own competence and the support of others. Among these areas, other professionals' experience of working with pupils who are autistic was valued highly as a source of support.
Lisa Glasham et al
Teaching, or folk pedagogy, the social transformation of knowledge from one person to another or the attempt to engender it in others, is one of the most remarkable of human enterprises. I propose that teaching, which is central to education in the broad sense of that term, can also be seen as an essential domain of inquiry for the cognitive sciences. This is so because, as I attempt to show, teaching may be a natural cognitive ability and is essential to what it means to be a human being. Furthermore, I believe that a search for the cognitive underpinnings of teaching may lead to a description of some of the fundamental building blocks of human cognition and its development.
S. Strauss
NLD students need a safe environment, frontloading, Rubrics, Checklists, and Models, Small Group Discussion, and Large-Type Print.
Linda Childress
In teaching numbers we can be sure that a child has acquired the concept when he starts giving, picking or taking a particular number of things on request.
Kumkum Seal, Indu Chaswal
Realize that there are individuals with autism who may be gifted in certain areas but who are extremely challenged in others. Conversely, students with the label of severe disabilities can possess exceptional talents.
Cathy Pratt
Students with autism are, first and foremost, students. They have many more similarities to other students than they do differences. They learn well with appropriate, systematic, and individualized teaching practices.
Defines of autism, describes characteristics and implications for instruction, outlines suggested strategies for instruction and classroom management, identifies additional resources, provides strategies for teaching students with Asperger's.
Saskatchewan Special Education Unit
If students are to have organization, study skills and learning strategies at the point when they need them, the skills have to be taught ahead of time.
Diane Newton
From an early age I was taught to have good manners and to behave at the dinner table. Children with autism need to have a structured day, and teachers who know how to be firm but gentle.
Temple Grandin
It takes more than good teaching to understand a student with autism. Good teaching combined with accurate knowledge about the disability builds the foundation for meeting the educational needs of students with autism.
Sevier County Department of Special Education
Addresses the basic concerns of educators who might not be very familiar with the disability of autism. By a special educator.
James Kirk
In the short time prior to the start of school, there are several things parents and school personnel can do to ease the transition into the school year.
Diane Adreon
Magic Water; I'm so Glad I Came to school; Tidy Up; Make a Lap; The Snap Rap; Tighten-Relax; Ten in the Bed.
We checked out the schools before we checked out the houses. Opted for a smaller school outside the city. Less stress and shuffle.
Martha Kate Downey
Be positive. Be creative. Be flexible!
Susan Moreno, Carol O'Neal
Appropriate inclusion doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. For some students, inclusion in general education may work 100% of the time if appropriate support services are provided to ensure student success
Steven Shore
To make inclusion work well, teams must assess potential benefits and concerns and plan accordingly. It is important to remember that a child doing his own thing in the back of the classroom while the other students are doing something completely different is not an example of inclusion. Inclusive environments need to provide students with opportunities to explore content together.
Shore, Stephen M.
Because children with AS are frequently unable to express their fears and anxieties, it is up to significant adults to make it worthwhile for them to leave their safe inner fantasy lives for the uncertainties of the external world.
Karen Williams
In whatever you do with a child, be gentle. If his ideas or comments seem strange or unappealing to the other kids, work on helping the child feel good about whatever he is doing. I don't want a child to feel like he isn't liked for who he is.
David Nelson
As research continues, it is becoming clearer that music can be used with the autistic person as something that is therapeutic, like a good swim or deep pressure massage, rather than as therapy designed for psychological and psychiatric disorders.
Sandra Dawson
My rationale for choosing shopping as an objective to meet the goal of increasing expressive communication and community skills is simply that I feel this objective articulates several of Christopher's needs into one activity. Christopher enjoys going to the store. He is very motivated to demonstrate appropriate behavior in stores because I have spent several years teaching him manners. He feels that it is a special treat to get to go to the store with Mommy.
Janet Lawrence
Author of Elijah's Cup: A Family's Journey into the Community and Culture of High Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome (Free Press), a powerful memoir about the author's life with her autistic son. As the founder and director of ASPIE, the School for Autistic Strength, Purpose and Independence in Education (, Paradiz also gives keynote speeches and workshops on the topic of autism and Asperger's syndrome at conferences, parent support groups, schools, mental health institutions and other service organizations nationwide.
Valerie Paradiz
Developing independence in persons who are functionally dependent. Insist, persist, and assist!
Nathan Ory
VSS's provide students with consistent cues about their daily activities, allow a student to anticipate what will happen next, reduce anxiety, and promote calmness between transitions.
Lorraine Kamp, Therese McErlean
Inclusive education is gaining ground. Throughout the world, teachers and others involved in education are working to develop positive educational experiences that all children and young people can enjoy and benefit from, together. For disabled children and those experiencing difficulties in learning, this means inclusion in mainstream schools and classrooms alongside their non-disabled peers. For all children - and adults - it means a more enriching and rewarding educational experience.
Estee Klar
Student term paper
Yoshiyuki Nakagawa
The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted to protect individuals with a disability from discrimination in the workplace. The ADA, though, does not cover special education programs designed for children with disabilities in school settings. This has led to many negative results for children with disabilities. In this article, the author argues that by focusing on the student's disability in the classroom, we are actually impairing the student's chances to look past his disability and see himself as an individual who can make a positive contribution to society. Rather we need to provide an environment that fosters learning for all students so that each student has an equal opportunity to excel.
Alan Gartner
This is a worksheet for the use of students to introduct them to a classmate's autistic spectrum condition
Christine Deudney
Online professional development course for professionals who need to have basic information about young children with autism spectrum disorders. Instructor: Carolyn A. Woodman, M.Ed.

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