Autism, while not defined as a learning disability, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how kids process information and ultimately affects how they learn. School activities that involve social interaction, noisy/unorganized environments, or intense sensory stimulation can be particularly challenging for children diagnosed with autism. Lunchtime, recess, or unexpected schedule changes can cause fear, confusion, and even lead to emotional meltdowns.
To helps students with high functioning autism be most successful in the classroom, experts recommend that educators:
clearly establish structured routines
properly prepare and help students anticipate change
plan and practice communication strategies and social routines
provide earplugs or noise-canceling headsets in hallways or lunchroom
offer a quiet area for “breaks” if necessary
develop visual schedules and graphic organizers
provide visual or written, rather than auditory, instructions
encourage computer use, especially word processing for writing
These are just a few of the many supports that, while not impossible to offer, can be difficult to provide in a typical classroom where many students with a wide range of abilities all require varied levels of attention and accomodations.
Julie Billiart Schools, with campuses in Akron in Lyndhurst, offer students with high functioning autism (once referred to as Asperger Syndrome) the flexible environment and individualized approach to learning they need to be academically and socially successful. Our 1:6 teacher-to-student ratios, small classroom sizes, and customized therapies and teaching methods have helped position us as leaders in special education throughout Northeast Ohio.
With a combined history of more than 60 years, our team of licensed intervention specialists and accredited occupational, speech, music, art, and speech therapists, has been taking students grades in K-8 BEYOND EDUCATION. BEYOND EXPECTATIONS.