Effects in Education

Children with autism are affected with these symptoms every day. These unusual characteristics set them apart from the everyday normal student. Because they have trouble understanding people’s thoughts and feelings, they have trouble understanding what their teacher may be telling them. They do not understand that facial expressions and vocal variations hold meanings and may misinterpret what emotion their instructor is displaying. This inability to fully decipher the world around them makes education stressful. Teachers need to be aware of a student's disorder so that they are able to help the student get the best out of the lessons being taught.

Some students learn better by visual aids. They are able to understand material that they see right in front of them. Because of this, many teachers create “visual schedules” for their autistic students. This allows the student to know what is going on through out the day. They know what to prepare for and what activity they will be doing next. Some autistic kids have trouble going from one activity to the next, so this visual schedule will cause less stress on such children.

Research has shown that working in partners is beneficial to autistic children. Autistic kids have problems in schools not only with language and communication, but with socialization as well. They feel self-conscious about themselves and feel that they will always be outcasts. By allowing them to work with peers, they could make friends that can help them go through the problems that they are dealing with. They wouldn’t feel like outsiders and could feel more involved in classroom activities.

A teacher's aide might also be useful to the student. The aide would be able to give more precise directions that the teacher doesn’t have time to explain to the autistic child. The aide would be able to give them breaks that are needed so they aren’t frustrated, while allowing them to stay caught up with what the rest of the class is doing. This would allow a more one on one lesson so that the child is still able to stay in a normal classroom, but be given the extra help that they need.

There are many different techniques that teachers can use to assist their students. A teacher needs to become familiar with the child’s disorder to know what will work best with that particular child. Every child is going to be different and teachers need to be able to adjust with every one of them.

Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders typically have high levels of anxiety and stress particularly in social environments like school. If a student exhibits aggressive or explosive behavior, it is important for educational teams to recognize the impact of stress and anxiety. Preparing students for new situations by writing Social Stories can lower anxiety. Teaching social and emotional concepts using systematic teaching approaches such as The Incredible 5-Point Scale or other Cognitive Behavioral strategies can increase a student's ability to control excessive behavioral reactions.