Autism is basically a disease or rather a lifelong disability that a person develops with and normally appears in the early stages of childhood. On the other hand, ASD is more or less the same as autism but differs because ASD is brought about by differences that occur within the brain. It greatly impacts a person’s relationship, communication, social skills, and self-regulation.
The common signs of autism include: delayed communication skills and speech, having a problem of understanding the emotions of other people, they greatly relying on routines and rules, and getting mad at minor changes. People with ASD usually have their way of learning, paying attention or even moving. How they perceive senses, how they move and learn, and how they cope with strategies are normally affected, d this might cause hidden challenges. Don’t freak to pay for research papers.
From the characteristics stated above, we can be able to know some of the issues these students might be facing. And with that, we can derive ways in which we can comfortably accommodate them.
First, they have a problem communicating: they find difficulties expressing and receiving communication. Some of these challenges may be minor. If not well looked they might easily lead to misunderstandings of how they receive communication; they may not understand jokes and sarcasm or might take longer to process verbal exchanges.
On the expressive part, they may find it hard to initiate conversations, turn-taking issues, stick to the topic or cannot follow the communication protocol. To cater to this, give them enough time to express their verbal cues, give them the teacher’s notes and when administering tests, provide them with a study guide on the same. It would also help the student if their teacher sought clarification from them instead of just making assumptions.
Can be affected by either fine or gross motor skills. When the fine motor is affected, activities such as writing, turning pages, drawing, playing instruments, using utensils, manipulating tiny objects and using keys and locks are affected. On the other hand, activities such as sitting, walking, running, swimming, and balancing might be affected when gross motor skills are affected. How a person places their body on the ground is a major concern when walking cause balance affects body movements and might cause difficulties with navigation.
To accommodate autistic students, in this case, make sure that learning takes place one step after the other. Ensure that you use models and other learning resources and provide extra time for assignments and tests. Also, for students taking physical education classes, ensure that you consider further accommodations that might prevent further complications. You can also allow them to use desktop computers to do their classwork, tests and assignments.
Learners with autism mostly have a very uneven learning style. They often do perfectly well in a non-conventional way. Their rote memory is normally long-term and excellent. They are normally said to be right-brained thinkers. To perform well in class, they first have to develop a liking and trust for that teacher. They suffer from attention problems. Repetition is boring; they wouldn’t want to hear it again once taught something.
Their sequential learning is very poor. Despite all these, these students e believed to perform pretty well in their academics. They produce outstanding grades and so the need to further their studies beyond secondary school level. To accommodate them, you need to give them extra time for submission of tests and assignments and provide for the use of calendars because students with ASD work best under organization tools. Always provide reinforcement and motivation at each opportunity. Use demonstrations, visuals and other teaching aids, for example, review sheets.
They are mostly affected by stress and anxiety arising from communication expectations, social anxiety and sensory sensitivities. These might force the student to portray certain behaviors that might be considered rude and disruptive. To students who have autism, this behavior is just okay and is calming. When they’re under stress, they might do activities out of the norm to relieve themselves. Some activities include chewing clothes, flapping hands repetitively, waving, pacing or even teaching topics they love the most.
They may also decide to quit a situation during or before the suggested time. To cater to or accommodate them, ask them if they need any help or want anything. Do not disrupt them unless the activity is extremely disturbing because it is not their intention. Teachers and lecturers should also be prepared to receive them. Allow them to have their sensory objects or anything they’d think is of help to them.
Class discussion and group work is necessary and are equally as important when it comes to earning a good grade. This necessitates the application of social skills. Socially these students have a problem of understanding other people’s opinions, they cannot maintain eye contact, and at times they cannot share their space. They cannot interact well with their colleagues and cannot negotiate well with others or work in pairs and groups.
To accommodate them, give them breaks at certain intervals and allow them to use certain objects that will act as a ‘ social buffering.’ They will at least have something to distract them, for instance, a book or a computer. Also, respect their eye contact level and provide written rules that you’ll use when asking and answering questions.
Some of them suffer from extremely high sensitivity input, while others have extremely low sensitivity input to take in what is in the environment into their five senses, sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. Some of them might suffer from synesthesia. Here the actual information is perceived differently and not the intended one. Florescent lights that produce different colors in a classroom setup may cause ‘overload.’ Some sounds are perceived to be painful, such as dragging desks.
Some ASD students are allergic to certain scents, of maybe perfumes and deodorant. In this case, to accommodate them, allow them to wear hats, sunglasses and tinted lenses for lighting and earphones and earplugs for painful sounds.