Educating Children With Autism – Childhood Development Essay
The numbers of children with autism has been growing in recent years. Questions about autism and educating those with autism has been growing even more. According to statistics from the internet for reasons unknown, autism
is growing at a rate of 10-17% per year(“Autism,” 2000). Some speculations for children acquiring autism are vaccines containing Thimerosal (2000). Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative and know neurotoxin no longer used in childhood vaccines (2000). A Danish study showing all children born in Denmark between 1990-1996 shows no difference between children who received the Thimerosal vaccine and those who didn’t (2000). Likewise, Sweden, where Thimerosal was eliminated in 1993, shows autism continues to grow (2000).
Researchers current thinking is that genetic factors are involved, but have yet to identify a single gene or “trigger” that causes autism- there are many, many other theories (“Autism,” 2000).
Autism can usually be detected between 18 months and 3 years(“Autism,” 2000). Parents are usually the first to notice that there child is focused on one thing, have repetitive movements, stemming, difficulty, with social issues, and unusual responses to certain sounds or the way an object looks(2000). Autism is a spectrum disorder, symptoms and characteristics present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe and can include seizures and mental retardation, which ultimately causes problems in education, according to the article from remedyfind.com (2000).
There is no cure, but evidence over the last 15 years indicates intensive early intervention, in optimal educational settings, for at least 2 years during the preschool years, results in improved outcomes in most children(“Autism,” 2000). Treatment approaches include occupational and physical therapies such as sensory integration and behavior modification techniques. Most important is the socialization (2000).
Children with autism learn by example suggestions and appropriate responses for the situation in question; for example, teaching autistic kids how to dress for rainy weather (Elliot 2000). It’s raining, it’s cloudy, it’s cold, you wear a raincoat, and use an umbrella children with autism, also learn by example, experience or role playing (2000). Schedules and rule cards must be precise and used consistently (2000). Rewards, classroom setting and teaching autistic kids how to dress for rainy weather(2000). It’s raining, it’s cloudy, it’s cold, you wear a raincoat, use an umbrella (2000). To solve behavior differences, a medley of strategies are used to fit the individual, the environment and the situation(2000). This is regardless of the label that may be used (2000). A label gives us an inkling of characteristics that fit certain behaviors(2000).
Mel Levine in Educational Week 12/00 insisted that “the brain is too complex for one method that will solve our education goals” (Elliot 2000). The goal is “to equip educators with the latest research about children’s brain development, and then help them put that knowledge to good use in the classroom” (2000). We must, in turn, assist parents, students and peers as well to accept, facilitate development and support educational efforts (2000).
Autism Spectrum Disorders. (2000). Remedy Find. TRUSTe. 7 Mar 2005 from www.remedyfind.com/hc-Autism.asp
Elliot, Laura.(2000).Visual and Social Strategies for Students Who May Have Communication Delays or Individual Behaviors That Must Be Accommodated. Retrieved 7 Mar. 2005 from Capistrano Unified School District at