Autism is a complex neurological disorder that makes the victims to be critically impaired in three key areas: communication, social interactions and repetitive behavior (Bellini, Akullian, & Hopf, 2007). The school psychologist and other school panels often have insufficient time, training and resources to deal with children or have such a disorder making it very taxing. Over the last decade, there has been an escalating number of students who have been diagnosed with autism and its related complications. The complexity of the disease combined with the increasing number of victims has intensified need for the school psychologist to develop and deliver quality, evidence-based early intervention programming for young students.
The significance of this early intervention has been documented in the literature. Several types of research have shown that early intervention results in substantial gains in communication, social and behavioral functioning of the students with autism. They require ample time to interact with typically developing peers.it is necessary for schools to establish an ideal mechanism for delivering intervention for children with autism (Koegel, Matos-Fredeen, & Koegel, 2011). Majority of a child's developing years are spent in school; this provides the school an excellent chance to provide the rigorous and ample intervention that focuses on refining the child's communication and social skills and intensifying the kid's interest as well. Furthermore, if the education program is incorporated into parent education, right portions of the child's day will entail of a natural environment, such a situation will correspond with the recommendation from an empirical study.
Regardless of the piled up peer-reviewed journals that show operative interventions for the kids, very little has been in print regarding the effectiveness of teachers training. Furthermore, helpers who spend most of their time helping these children usually feel undertrained or under qualified for the positions. There have been several suggestions to various incorporated methods such as video conferencing to cab the issue of lack of trained personnel in the institutions. This also calls for the government to improve training for teachers to target challenging behavior. However, training tends to be quite expensive and time-consuming, the most schools especially public institutions have a heightened turnover of children that require special education. Other mostly cited obstacles besides teachers training are assessment issues and other factors as discussed below.
A standardized test is difficult to apply to individual students who usually demonstrate specific challenging behaviors during the assessment. The best methods of evaluation are application of observation-based, criteria-based and standardized test and conducting them in a natural environment. However, that is still not the best methods of assessment since they also incorporate a certain level of bias considering the amount of attention given to the children. Therefore, various variables should be included for an adequate and successful assessment. Surveyed research on teachers revealed that they do not take into consideration if an intervention was research-based as critical criteria. They chose responses based on their personal beliefs and centered on ease of application in the classroom. Therefore applications such that require tangible rewards are not likely to be used.
Considering the obstacles, several factors could be incorporated to maximize the level of education and interventions offered to such students. Some schools place a high emphasis on sharing information both among school staff and with carers and parents. These can be examples of videotapes and photographs taken to capture the child's achievements. This reflected concerns that these children with autism may not share their progress in school with their parents and therefore there documentation will help monitor the child's development. Adapting an autism specific' curriculum for schools that specifically deals with children with autism has been a long overarching process that school has been taking. The curriculum differentiation should be implemented on an individualized basis that aligns with the targeted individual's needs and profiles.
Several other autism-specific approaches can be applied by teachers irrespective of the challenges that they face in the field. This could be such as picture exchange communication system, applied behavioral analysis and intensive interaction and sensory integration. There can help the pupils with autism with understanding language, communication and improving them with attention and minimizing distractions. These approaches can be applied in specific essential stages the pupil is working on an individualized basis. Schools should adopt the delivery of lessons and expectation in lines with the school rule and standards in a fair manner for autism students. Adjustments might be required for such children that might need break in-between classes or time to get ready for the change of lessons (Dunlap & Harrower, 2001).
Working jointly with professionals will help teachers gain specific feature that is required for the pupils with autism. Considering the limitations in their skills incorporating there professional in the school environment with assisting them in assessing different stages that these children are. These professionals are such as a therapist, educational psychologist, and professionals from the child and adolescent mental health service. This approach is aided by the extraordinary level of acknowledgment of the psychological health and well-being requirements of children with autism right across the spectrum (Charman, Pellicano, Peacey, Peacey, & Dockrell, 2011).
The inclusion of access to their curriculum is also a considerable advantage. As the government works towards full incorporations of their curriculum, the great concern in the background has shown great strides towards helping them. Regardless of the several obstacles that have been the witness on the environment, research has revealed that these challenges have in most cases been neutralized by the implementation of other different approaches. School staff can develop an excellent understanding of autism students, their abilities, and weaknesses, their contributions, and needs is a plus to the community. A new additional concern, however, is the need for research to identify and develop a good practice on accessing and integrating the voice of children with autism in both mainstream and specialist schools. Several other studies need to be conducted that will be mainly based on assessing the teacher's capability to handle children with autism.
Koegel, Lynn. Matos-Fredeen, Russell. & Koegel, Robert. Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Inclusive School Settings, 2011
This paper is an analysis of research-based interventions for pupils with autism. It purposefully shows focus on interventions that are applicable in inclusive school settings by teachers and classroom support personnel.
Bellini, Scott. Akullian, Jennifer. & Hopf, Andrea. Increasing Social engagement in young children with autism spectrum disorder using video self-modeling. Scholl Psychology Review, 2007.
This is a research-based article that examines the benefits of a VSM intervention in acceleration the social interaction of young children who are affected by autism.
Charman, Tony. Pellicano, Liz. Peacey, Lindy. Peacey, Nick. & Dockrell, Julie. What is Good Practice in Autism Education? Autism Education Trust, 2011.This is a paper based on research to provide context to the development autism education standards in schools with a contrast of the efficiency of precise interventions or programmes.
Joshua K. Harrower, & Glen Dunlap. Including Children with Autism in General Education Classrooms, 2001.The article has a summary of empirical research that has been incorporated to promoting successful inclusion of students with autism.
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