It is vitally important for any type of school to remember that inclusion is now the standard policy, and that any teacher interacting with any students should know precisely how to help them in the most productive ways. Things can get a bit complicated though when ASD enters into the equation.
This refers to Autism Spectrum Disorders and covers a range of developmental, communication and social interaction disorders that can range from mild to quite severe. Often, a school will have only well-trained special education staff that is qualified to serve a population of students with ASDs, but this is currently considered to be unacceptable by most educational authorities. Fortunately, there is school Autism training that can be used by teachers, staff, and even parents to help a child with any form of ASD.
This school Autism training should focus on the techniques and approaches that have been proven to work the best for young people with ASD, and should help to teach them the necessary behaviors or skills that are so often a challenge to children with ASD. The National Institute of Health in the United States has done many studies and conclusively stated that Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA, is one of the best systems to use when seeking to teach and treat children with these conditions.
Luckily, there are school Autism training programs that actually focus in on ABA strategies and principles, and which provide teachers or parents with a much deeper understanding of the issues. For example, a high-quality school Autism training program would provide its students with information about Autism and its associated issues; a thorough understanding of ABA approaches; and then train the teacher, staff or parents in the best ways of using the techniques.
Consider that some of the traditional therapies used by special education teachers do not fall under the description of ABA, and even a highly-trained professional may not be aware of the ways of most effectively implementing the ABA approach to the broadest spectrum of students possible. For example, a teacher may not realize that incidental teaching is just as important and relevant to an ABA program as the more structured times. This situation arises due to the underlying factors of ASD, and may make it difficult for child to automatically or spontaneously learn behaviors or skills in the ways that traditional teaching allows.
When school Autism training programs are used, the entire range of teachers and staff will be able to be far more effective, and even parents can be included in workshops and training sessions.
Garrett Butch is the father of a 6 year old with autism and the founder of Maximum Potential Group.
Maximum Potential has developed courses that train parents, therapists and school systems how to work with children with autism.
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