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Special Education Characteristics, Accommodations and Strategies

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Autism

Definition
 
"Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. The result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, autism and its associated behaviors have been estimated to occur in as many as 1 in 500 individuals.

Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries. Family income, lifestyle, and educational levels do not affect the chance of autism's occurrence. Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communications skills. Children and adults with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. The disorder makes it hard for them to communicate with others and relate to the outside world. In some cases, aggressive and/or self-injuries behavior may be present.

Persons with autism may exhibit repeated body movements (hand flapping, rocking), unusual responses to people or attachments to objects and resistance to changes in routines. Individuals may also experience sensitivities in the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. Its prevalence rate makes autism one of the most common developmental disabilities. Yet most of the public, including many professionals in the medical, educational, and vocational fields, are still unaware of how autism affects people and how they can effectively work with individuals with autism."  (From Autism Society of America, www.autism-society.org)

 

Characteristics
 
  1. Inability to relate to others
  2. Lack of functional language
  3. Sensory processing deficits
  4. Cognitive deficits
  5. Resistance to change
  6. Challenging behaviors
  7. Bizarre behaviors
  8. Self-stimulation
  9. Self-injury

 

 
 

Accommodations
 
  1. Appropriate role models
  2. Age-appropriate activities
  3. Pre-teach vocabulary
  4. Use of visuals
  5. Safe place
  6. Advance organizer
  7. Assistive technology
  8. Flexible time
  9. Flexible seating
  10. Visual schedule
  11. Modified assignments

 

Strategies

  1. Self-monitoring program
  2. Behavior Intervention Program (BIP)
  3. Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA)
  4. Preventative discipline
  5. Social stories
  6. Teach social skills
  7. Address academic deficits
  8. Promote peer interactions
  9. Prepare for changes in routine
  10. Include instruction in special interests
  11. Build a classroom that is a caring community
 



This site was created by Ann Kuehnel who is
a classroom teaching in the
Springfield School District,
Springfield, Illinois.