Autism is a physical condition linked to abnormal biology and chemistry in the brain. Even though the causes for these abnormalities are unknown, there been a number of possible ways to have autism. For example the mothers diet while being pregnant, digestive track changes, mercury poisoning (which is one of the most well known reasonings), the body’s inability to properly use vitamins and minerals, or vaccine sensitivity.
Many parents worry that giving their child a vaccine may lead up to them having autism, and being that a child can seem normal up to eighteen months, parents sometimes would rather wait till the child’s older to give them shots. However it’s important to think of your child’s risks of not having the vaccination. All routine childhood vaccines are available in single-dose forms that do not contain added mercury. Studies have shown that autism effect’s more boys in the world then girls.
Some doctors believe’s the increase incidence of autism is from learning new definitions of autism. For example a child that is diagnosed with high-functioning autism today, was probably looked at as odd or strange thirty years ago. Some symptoms parents start to notice around eighteen months is while pretend play, social interactions or verbal or non-verbal communications. Some children appear normal up to age two and then start to regress, lose language and social skills they have gained, which is called regressive autism.
Some examples are sensitivity to sight, hearing, touch, smell, or taste. Have unusual distress, repeats body movements, or shows unusual attachments to objects. Some symptoms can moderate to severe like communicating with gestures instead of words, cannot start a conversation, speaks slow or not at all or repeats words that they’ve remembered from before. Children with autism usually don’t make friends, shows lack of empathy, may treat people like objects, or is withdrawn. Some act up, have short attention spans, or gets stuck on single topics.
A child with autism can’t exactly go through a day like a normal child, but with help from others, they can definitely try to. They are very smart children, just may have a harder time understanding and doing things. For my site visit, I visited an after school program call “The Ymywaha” which is owned privately. In the classroom I visited the children were twos and threes. There were about fifteen kids in the class including two autistic boys around three years old. There was one main teacher, and assistant teacher and a helper for the two boys.
I visited this class from three-thirty pm to around four-forty five pm. When I arrived the children were coming in from playing on the playground. They came in washed their hands and got ready to sit and talk about the butterflies they were growing in class. At this point, their butterflies were still in cacoons. Not only did they have butterflies in the classroom they had baby chicks. The children were well behaved and cooperated with the teachers. Except for one little boy, he was one that is autistic.
When the teacher gathered the children to talk about their butterflies, he wanted to play with the baby chicks. He turned around ignored the class and stared at the baby chicks. A little long after, he picked up one of the chicks and held on to it really tight. His helper asked him to put the chick back, but he refused, she asked again and he refused, She then explained that they are talking about the butterflies right now and after then were done then he can play with the baby chicks.
He dropped the chick and ran out the classroom. The helper teacher ran after him and spoke to him out in the hall. He walked back in calmly and sat with his other children. When I asked, I was told he was very rebellious. Quickly he got involved with the butterflies and forgot about wanting to play with the baby chicks. Meanwhile the other little boy with autism in the same class was more withdrawn from everyone. He was very quite and didn’t say or want to do much. He didn’t really interact with the other children.
When I asked about him, the teachers explained that he doesn’t speak very well, but he’s very smart. It would take him a while to get things done but he does a great job. During the day at daycare he had speech classes to help his development in language. I enjoyed my visit. It taught me not one but, about two types of autism and helped me understand it a little better. I got to witness an autistic child act-up and see how a teacher would handle that child. I also enjoy the children in the class. I couldn’t believe how smart those little people are.
Teaching Children With Autism Essay
Teaching Children with Autism
There has been an increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism or other autism spectrum disorders. It is likely as an educator that you will have at least one child with this diagnosis in your classroom. This paper explores some of the methods used to teach autistic children.
Autism is a disorder characterized by significant problems in communication and social functioning. Autism is actually called Autism Spectrum Disorder and encompasses a broad range disabilities such as Asperger syndrome, Rett’s Syndrome, and Pervavasive Development Disorder (Dunlap & Fox, n.d.). There are also varying degrees of the disorder from low-functioning (no communication and no social interaction) to high-functioning (some communication and inappropriate but existent social skills.)
One of the most difficult things teachers will face when dealing with Autistic children is their lack of communication skills and inappropriate or nonexistent social skills. In addition to academic instruction children with Autism require instruction in communication techniques and social skills. Kamps et.al. says “A key to accommodating students with autism in public school settings is the provision of social and behavioral programming to develop meaningful participation with nondisabled persons” (p.174).
There are many techniques that are useful in teaching children with autism communication and social skills. One method is the Responsive Classroom, an instructional approach that integrates the teaching of academic and social skills as an aspect of everyday classroom life (Sapona & Winterman, 2002, p. 30).
According to Sapona and Winterman (2002) teachers implementing this model in their classroom include six components:
- Morning meetings
- Classroom organization
- Rules and logical consequences
- Guided discovery
- Academic choice
- Family communication strategies
There are many benefits to implementing this style with autistic children. Holding morning meetings helps autistic children by establishing a common routine that begins the student’s day in a predictable pattern (Sapona & Winterman, 2002, p. 31). Autistic children often need predictable routines, and a highly organized and structured environment in order to function.
Since autistic children need routine there are some tips teachers can implement to make it easier for their autistic students:
- Highlight most important concepts
- Establish alternate modes for completing assignments
- Prepare the students
- Maximize comprehension and content retention
- Graphic and visual organizers
- Mnemonic devices (Marks et. al., 2002)
Students with autism can become overwhelmed very easily by even minor deviations from the routine. It is important to be sensitive to the way autistic children function so that their potential can be reached.
To encourage the development of social skills students are encouraged to interact with one another throughout the...
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