Health & Medical Autism

Principles of Instructional Design Within the Autism Classroom

The knowledge of the characteristics of learning in the autistic classroom setting leads to understanding and customized educational forms of action.
This aspect is particularly helpful because students with autistic behavior only can do little to contribute to the direct understanding of their behavior in the situation and this could lead to misinterpretations.
Promotion of communication and social integration have priority.
o Structuring classes Human, spatial and temporal rhythm structure of the day-to-day school life are essential elements to give autistic students structure and guidance.
A regular schedule with clear assignments of people and rooms in advance provides with the security, reliability and guidance which they need to a high extent.
o Opening up of diverse communication and interaction opportunities The need for contact, exchange and communication should strictly be met.
In class, this mandate is of particular importance because without a functional communication system, academic achievements and skills cannot be demonstrated.
The concept of Facilitated Communication-FC was developed to expand communication skills which include a wide range of nonverbal communication systems.
FC itself is not a form of therapy, but is a method of communication in the sense of supported communication, that in combination with other forms of communication might offer a broadening of communication possibilities for children with autism disposition.
Nevertheless, the active promotion of language and comprehension of speech takes precedence over the non-verbal communication.
o Adequacy of coursework The behavior demonstrated by students with autism often leads to confusion and misperceptions about the actual learning levels.
Underchallenging can evoke the same withdrawal and refusal behavior like overburdening.
The adequacy of coursework can often be very difficult to evaluate.
o Differentiation of the organizational form In addition to learning within the general classroom setting (mainstream) for most students with autistic behavior individualized personal instruction (IPI) is essential.
Individualized teaching should supplement class teaching where sensible.
In any case, IPI should never lead to an isolation of the student.
o Differentiation of teaching method Action-orientated learning is extremely frustrating for students who have difficulties to use arbitrary motor function.
They often canplan actions abstractly, but do not have the ability to implement these actions.
This should be taken into account when planning lessons and, where appropriate, be compensated by differentiation of the execution or by repeating the instruction.
o Intrinsic activity Education should constitute a notably challenge to intrinsic activity for students with autism.
Often students' behavior can be described as being passive with a tendency to self-stimulation.
This doesn't necessarily have to mean disinterest.
The cause may possibly come from the incapacity to perform an action.
Therefore, new motion patterns have to be initiated that expand the repertoire of behavioral patterns.
o Learning within the community with applied individual help Learning within the community includes: 1.
Participation in social life.
2.
Imitation behavior.
With all group learning processes, imitation behavior plays a special role for autistic students.
They select their models based on individual, subjective meaning.
3.
Applied individual help for structuring support, prevention of uncontrolled behavior, and coping with complex actions.
o Respecting the unusual view of the people and the world The realities of life for people with autism are characterized by: - limitations of experiencing the world, - different weighting of perceptions and assessment of experiences.
Often they are not able to transfer their experiences to new situations and they lack the comprehension of situational similarities.
Thus, their world of experience is different from ours.
They neither have access to many topics in class, nor consistent experiences, and interest.


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