Ten things your student with autism wishes you knew

These ideas make sense for other kids, too

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When my article “Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew” was published in 2004, I could scarcely have imagined the response. Readers around the world wrote to tell me that the piece should be required reading for all social service workers, teachers and relatives of children with autism. “Just what my daughter would say if she could,” said one mother. “How I wish I had read this five years ago. It took us such a long time to learn these things,” said another. With such widespread response, I could only conclude that the resonance came from the voice of the piece, a child’s voice, a voice not heard often enough. There is great need — and increasing willingness — to understand the world as children with autism experience it. Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew became a book in 2005, and the voice of our child returned in this article to tell us what children with autism wish their teachers knew. It too became quite popular and my book by the same title was published in 2006.

Here are ten things your student with autism wishes you knew:…Read More

Helping students with autism excel

A new school year brings change for all students, but some students, such as students with autism, need a little something extra to help them with the back-to-school transition.


But a combination of autism supports, technology, and tips can help students with autism, and their teachers, begin a new school year with success.

No two students with autism are alike, and students on the autism spectrum can have widely-varying abilities and strengths.…Read More

Six tips for guiding the learning of students with autism

There isn’t just one way to teach students with autism.

Classrooms come with their own unique characters, props, and soundtracks. To the average student, these things meld into the background, setting the scene for learning. However, for children affected by autism, simple disruptions—from the opening of a book to the ringing of a bell—can cause major setbacks in the learning experience.

How can teachers and parents ensure that the needs of students with autism are being addressed?

Learning to learn: It is essential for any student to develop good learning habits in order for true learning to take place, and the same is true for children on the autism spectrum. Learning how to sit appropriately, turn on “listening ears,” and raise a hand to respond are foundational skills that need to be taught and reinforced right off the bat. Autism is a spectrum disorder, in which symptoms may vary from mild to severe based on the child. For that reason, it is critical not to generalize a diagnosis.…Read More

How iPads can support learning for students with autism

iPads can help engage and encourage students with autism, special-education teachers say.

Ed-tech advocates are discovering the numerous benefits that mobile devices, including iPads, can have for students. But a growing number of special-education teachers are finding that iPads can have a positive effect on their students with autism in particular.

Students with autism often have trouble communicating and might struggle with transitions, such as changing classes, getting on a school bus, or taking a field trip. A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last April indicated that one out of every 88 children is believed to have autism or fall somewhere on the autism spectrum.

Karina Barley, an Australian special-education teacher who runs Project Autism Australia, uses iPads with her students on the autism spectrum. Handheld devices such as the iPad offer students with autism the chance to personalize their learning while moving at their own pace, and the larger screen (when compared to a smart phone) makes it easy for them to manipulate various apps.…Read More

Young adults with autism lag in school, work

Young adults with autism are less likely to go to college or hold down a job than their peers with other types of disabilities, a new U.S. study finds, Reuters reports. Researchers found that more than one-third of young adults with an autism spectrum disorder had not gotten a job or gone into higher education since high school. And that number was much higher compared with young adults with learning disabilities or other impairments. It’s estimated that about one in 88 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. That’s up 78 percent from a decade ago — which health officials attribute to better diagnosis, as well as broader definitions of what constitutes an ASD. ASDs are a group of developmental brain disorders that hinder a person’s ability to communicate and interact socially — ranging from the severe cases of “classic” autism to the relatively mild form called Asperger’s syndrome. But while rates of ASD diagnoses are shooting up, researchers have not known all that much about how kids with the disorders fare after high school…

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