Things You Should Know about Autism and Special Education

Autism or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) consists of a wide range of symptoms, which include nonverbal communication, improper speech, repetitive behaviors, and lack of social skills. Although numerous studies and researches have been done and are still going on in several parts of the world, the exact reason behind Autism is still unknown. Having said that, studies suggest that environmental and genetic factors together can be held responsible for the development of Autism Spectrum Disorder in an individual.

There exist numerous treatment plans and techniques that can help one deal with the symptoms. Using them on a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder can help them live a much better life to the fullest of their capabilities. For this, a parent or caregiver can opt for Occupational therapy, Speech and language therapy, Special education, Hydrotherapy, and others. Depending upon the severity of the symptoms and related requirements, the child can be provided with the relevant intervention. Here are some common challenges that can be associated with Autism Spectrum disorder.

1. Role of a special educator in developing social interaction
This is one symptom that most individuals having ASD face. Additionally, a child may also lack language skills, would not like to make eye contact, give no response on being called by their name, etc. Other symptoms of impaired interaction in a social setup include the inability to interact with peers socially or make friends, missing conversational skills. For instance, a child diagnosed with ASD may find it challenging to start or continue a conversation with another child of the same age- group.

A child with ASD may tend to repeat words, or phrases through their memory that they may have heard someone speak, instead of saying original phrases or words. Those diagnosed with ASD are seen to have an obsessive-compulsive tendency towards lining objects in a specific way, sticking to their routine and incapability of changing their set routines. For instance, if a child goes to school by bus and the bus chose to take a different route than what it takes every day. A child with ASD may find it quite difficult to accept this change in route.

Special needs schools have a team of special educators who can help develop skills that enable social interaction such as eye- contact, command following by breaking it into multiple steps, for instance, a special educator may ask a child to “Stand up. Move ahead. Pick the glass. Drink water.” By breaking them into short multiple steps, the child will be able to better perceive and execute the instructions. Also, a special educator can help the child become aware of their body. By using gestures, repeatedly asking, or using voice-modulation techniques, picture cue cards, etc the special educator helps in improving response to name-calling in a child. Further, the special educator also helps in developing or improving skills such as turn-taking, sharing, waiting for a turn, standing in line, etc through group therapies. Altogether, helping the child improve or develop social interaction skills.

2. Special educator works on enhancing visual learning skills
Contrary to the absence of social interaction skills, children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder have great visual learning skills. The special educator plays a major role in refining visual learning skills and effectively using them to teach functional skills to the child that is practiced in the day-to-day routine. Using a variety of tools and techniques, such as Cue cards, picture sequencing, enhancing visual perception skills, visual discrimination skills through which the child can identify and differentiate between various shapes, sizes and objects.

3. Academics can be improved with the help of a Special educator
Generally, due to low cognitive skills, and difficulties in social interaction and communication, children diagnosed with Autism face challenges in their academic life. Also, educators report that they face quite a lot of challenges in devising an education plan that matches the learning capabilities of a child with ASD or any such disorders. A special educator is capable of devising an education plan, modifying the curriculum, and adding strategies that are customized as per the child’s requirements. This helps the child learn and grow to the fullest of their potential.

4. Cognitive and perceptual skill development/ enhancement
Children diagnosed with ASD are prone to have low cognitive skills. However, studies suggest that cognitive skills patterns in terms of being able to understand and appreciate others' feelings, thoughts, and regulating behavior as per the need, can be improved over a while. A special educator is equipped with working on cognitive skill development of enhancement areas such as concentration, attention, memory, processing, etc.

5. Language development through special education
A special educator helps in language development by working on areas such as grammar, proper sentence formation and correct use of phrases and words to express thoughts and ideas. He/she formulates the teaching plan, keeping into consideration the areas in which the child lags. For instance, a child with ASD may speak like, “I food.” Instead of saying, “I want food.” Working on the correct usage of grammar, vocabulary, sentence formation, etc the communication abilities can be improved.

Feel free to reach out to a special needs school that has several special educators who can work on the child’s developmental areas. In fact, there exist some of the best Autism schools in Delhi. In addition to it, one can also look for Occupational therapy, Speech and language therapy, Hydrotherapy, to encourage the holistic development of the child. With early intervention, backed-up by consistent efforts put in by the child, parents and therapists, a great difference can be brought to the child’s life.

Author Bio:
Sawoni Chowdhury is an aficionado of writing. She is an expert writer and blogger and shares her views and opinions on a range of topics such as Lifestyle, Business, Entertainment and lot more. She works for wonderland agency

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