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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Autism Teacher Training - Is There An Oversight That Autistic Children With A General Education May Experience Setbacks?

While many schools try to integrate children with learning challenges into the mainstream classroom, autistic children with a general education could experience setbacks because of the environment in school. A classroom not suited to autistic behaviors and teachers or students not understanding disorder characteristics could hinder the learning ability of an autistic student.

An inclusion school environment can be successful if teachers have experience and training in autistic education. Not having the proper training could lead to setbacks in an autistic child's verbal and nonverbal communication development, sensory processing, social interaction and imaginative or creative play.
Because autism affects non disordered pupils with habits stressful to others, teachers need to help all students adapt by using different techniques based on the needs of the autistic child. Because autistic children have habits, such as repetitive behavior or sudden outbursts for no reason, a classroom needs to be flexible in order to conform to an individual's learning needs and be capable of addressing behavioral issues in a calm and understanding, yet disciplinary, manner.

Mainstream schools with successful autism inclusion rely on visual aids, structure and routine to ensure that there are no setbacks later in life for an autistic student. In addition, by pairing an autistic child with a traditional student, an autistic student's socialization improves through peer interaction and anxiety is reduced. With a well rounded education, the autistic student will be able to conduct daily living needs and function in society as an adult.

While most people rely on two or three learning styles, autistic students use only one style of learning. Because autistic children have different learning styles than traditional students, a dual curriculum is necessary in certain general education areas. Otherwise, the autistic child will be unable to process the information being taught. Autistic children whose learning style is not being met can cause disruptive behavior, such as running around in the classroom or not listening to the teacher. In these situations, a classroom may not be suited for autistic learning.

If teaching styles in a mainstream school cannot be adapted, then a school that is tailored towards the autistic student is the best option. The school environment and teachings will be better geared to the student and there will be no issues with not understanding the behaviors of the disorder.

However, there are pros and cons when comparing an inclusion school to an autistic needs tailor made school. While autistic students can learn from other students, a general education could cause setbacks if educators fail to modify their teaching styles to accommodate autistic students. However, a school tailored only to autism shelters autistic children and prevents them from learning societal challenges among others without the disorder.

While the debate continues to ask whether a general education can cause setbacks, it is known that a proper education for an autistic student requires a nurturing environment that allows the individual to feel comfortable in learning. By doing so, autistic students will be able to find their talents and succeed in life

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