Opening the Classroom Door for Children with Autism

Posted on April 23, 2015

We can all probably remember how we were taught to swim. Some of us had parents who took us to swimming lessons in a safely constructed pool at the local YMCA, with numerous, trained adults right next to us in the pool and floaties on our arms, while we paddled on a kickboard for as long as necessary until we were ready to swim independently. Others had the parents who just surprised them one day on summer vacation by sneaking up on them on the dock, hoisting them into the air, and jettisoning them into the dark and unknown depths of a lake, figuring they would jump in and help if they started to sink. Whichever way we experienced it, we are likely to have strong feelings about whether or not it was the best way to do it.

Sometimes we tend to think of educational experiences in a similar light and view options for students with disabilities in the same way. We tend to think that they need to either be pulled into a safe and protected environment for intensive instruction, or plunged into the unpredictable landscape of the general education classroom to sink or swim.

With the ever-growing prevalence of autism in American children (1 in 68 according to recent CDC estimates), a growing topic for debate among educators, advocates and families of children with autism revolves around the best educational option for children who, by definition, are faced with significant social-communication and behavioral challenges. There is no "one size fits all" answer as to whether or not it is best to educate children with autism in specialized, intensive "pull out" programs, or by providing the needed services within the general education classroom, often termed the "inclusion" or "push in" model.

Category(s):Autism spectrum disorders, Child Development

Source material from Brain Blogger