Friday, January 13, 2012

Autism and Educational Effects

Autism affects many aspects of a person's life. Education is one of the main areas that has to be modified in order for the child to learn what is necessary to lead a productive life. Autism and education isn't just about teaching academics, it includes various forms of therapy and approaches.

Learning Disabilities

Often, a child with autism suffers from other problems that affect the ability to understand important subjects such as reading or math. Dyslexia is often present in children with autism. This affects the ability to read, write, speak and even complete math problems.

Dysgraphia affects a child's ability to write correctly because it interferes with fine motor skills, as well as organizing thoughts well enough to put on paper. While not classified as a learning disorder, Sensory Integration Disorder directly affects a child's ability to learn information because the brain does not read and interpret information gathered from the senses correctly.

When a child with autism has learning disabilities, it makes teaching an even bigger challenge. Techniques that work for one disorder may not be affective for another. Receiving proper diagnoses is crucial in helping the school staff brainstorm ideas to work with all of the challenges the child faces. Therapy is beneficial to a child on the autism spectrum because it can reduce some of the symptoms, helping him understand his school work.

Therapy in School

Most schools offer some type of therapy to aide in the teaching process. These may include speech and language therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), sensory integration therapy and physical or occupational therapy. The types of therapy and the amount of time spent vary from one school district to another based on finances and availability of trained professionals.

Types of Classes Available

Another thing that may vary from district to district is how the school handles children with autism. Some schools keep these children in classrooms designed for those with special needs. There, they receive one on one attention and work on social skills as they interact with only a few children. This helps reduce the stress levels and possibility of too much sensory stimulation.

Other districts work to include the children in typical classes, removing them only for subjects they need extra help in. This often works well for children who are higher functioning, but may take extra time to include a child who is lower on the autism spectrum. Trying different therapies, teaching techniques and classroom situations are crucial when working with autism and education.

Maximum Potential specializes in online learning environments for ABA Therapy

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