Teaching Children with Autism

Powerful Essays
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 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 comp...

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...avioral Skills to Children with Autism. Focus on Autistic Behavior, 10 (1), 1-9.

Dempsey, I. & Foreman, P. ( 2001). A Review of Educational Approaches for Individuals with Autism. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 48 (1), 105-116.

Kamps, D. (2002). Peer Training to Facilitate Social Interaction for Elementary Students with Autism and Their Peers. Exceptional Children, 68 (2), 173-187.

Marks, S. et. al. (2003). Instructional Management Tips for Teahers of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Teaching Exceptional Children, 35 (4), 50-55.

Dunlap, G. & Fox, L. Teaching Students with Autism. ERIC Digest, E582.

Winterman, K. & Sapona, R. (2002). Everyone’s Included: Supporting Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a Responsive Classroom Learning Environment. Teaching Exceptional Children, 35 (1), 30-35.
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