How individualized supports for students with autism promote success in the mainstream classroom

Autism spectrum disorder is a processing disorder. Placing ASD students into classrooms and hoping they learn to interact just by watching is setting them up for failure. Schools need to ask why the student is being mainstreamed and find goals for the student. Each child needs accommodations and for some, mainstreaming might not be an answer at all. ASD students will be challenged with sensory issues and comprehension of language. Strategies such as visual lessons, organization milestones, consistent rules, and capitalizing on special interests can help increase chances of success. The school and student need to work together and avoid phrases like “being good.” The behaviors need to be defined.

Key Takeaways:

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a processing disorder that affects children differently based on where they fall on the spectrum of the condition.
  • Students with autism spectrum disorder who are considered to be high functioning even have challenges with pragmatic social language and understanding social interactions.
  • Educators are setting students with autism spectrum disorder for failure when they expect that these students will cope and learn by just watching their peers.

“Nina Finkler, a learning consultant with years of experience working with students with ASD, says success comes when schools actually acknowledge the different needs of students with ASD and set up individualized supports throughout their learning career.”

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About Sensory Edge 174 Articles
Articles written by SensoryEdge are a combined effort of the SensoryEdge publishing staff. At SensoryEdge our focus is to educate, inform, and inspire each person caring for children to be and do their very best. It is not always easy and sometimes we don't take action (or we take the wrong action) because of a lack of understanding the real issues. We hope that the conversations that occur here will help in some small way better the lives of children, their families, and the professionals who work with them.