Senin, 12 Juli 2010

Pembelajaran untuk anak Autis

 

 “The common denominator of many successful autism treatment programs is early intensive intervention and mainstreaming with normal children”

(Grandin,1988).

 

Autism is a physical disorder affecting the brain that prevents individuals from properly processing and integrating information from their senses and surroundings. This brain disorder may cause severe problems in learning, communication and behavior. Autism does not prevent learning. People with autism grow, change, learn and acquire new skills throughout their lives.

Although there is no known cure for autism, we do know that early and intensive intervention with some degree of inclusion in the regular education setting through- out the school years can greatly benefit some students with autism, providing them with the  foundation needed to live full and productive lives and successful career. A few of these symptoms can diminish as some children age and some symptoms have even been known to disappear altogether. With appropriate intervention, many of the autism behaviors can be positively changed, even to the point that the child or adult may appear to no longer have autism. However, the majority of individuals with autism, continue to demonstrate some symptoms of autism to some degree throughout their entire lives.

Characteristics

§    Inappropriate laughing or giggling

§    No real fear of dangers

§    Apparent insensitivity to pain

§    May not want cuddling

§    Sustained unusual or repetitive play

§    Uneven physical or verbal skills

§    May avoid eye contact

§    May appear to be prefer being alone

§    Difficulty in expressing needs; may use gestures

§    Inappropriate attachments to objects

§    Insistence on sameness

§    Echoes words or phrases

§    Inappropriate response or no response to sound

§    Spins objects or self

§    Difficulty in interacting with others


Strengths

 Abilities vary from one individual to the next, but generally people with autism share these strengths: 

• Excellent memory, especially for detail.

• Ability to follow routines.

• Appreciation for precision and accuracy.

• Strong visual skills.

• Ability to make associations quickly.

Suggestions to help learning easier for children with autism:

 

§   Extend a welcoming environment to all students.

§   Identify and use appropriate functional communication systems across all environments consistently.

§   Develop predictable routines; use timers or bells to assist  children with transitions from one activity to the next (making transitions is an area of particular difficulty for most students with autism).

§   Understand that behavior is a form of communication

    that can often be remedied by assessing the child’s communicative intent and making environmental changes or implementing planned behavioral interventions.

§   Use visuals to convey instructions, meanings, routines, and schedules.

§   Provide a classroom aide or paraprofessional to help the

    child complete tasks and to facilitate meaningful social interactions and appropriate adaptive behaviors.

§   Encourage “peer mentoring”.

§   Build on areas of strengths and interests. Develop skills and talents that can lead to success later in life.

§   Use creative strategies to assist the child in learning more effective social skills.

§   Use creative strategies to assist the child in learning more effective social skills.

§   Provide frequent positive reinforcement. Find out from

    parents or guardians what type of motivators work for each child.

§   Plan for “fading” prompts to promote more independence.

§   Be aware of the child’s sensory needs when developing

    classroom activities and implementing behavioral strategies.

§   Do things with instead of for the student when she or he

    needs assistance. Have high expectations!

§   Allow extra time for the child to form a response to

    your request (many students need extra time to process the

     meaning of an instruction).

§   Provide an environment that is uncluttered and without

    distracting noises.

§   Whenever possible, use natural lighting; standard fluorescent lighting can cause difficulties for some children with autism.

§   Consider the physical placement of the child in the classroom and how it relates to his or her unique responses to environmental stimuli.

§   Do not request information from the child when she or he is upset -allow time for coping.

§   Treat the student with autism with the same respect you would their fellow classmates.

§   Empower the student to be an active participant in all classroom and social activities

 

Individualized Education Program

No matter the level of disability,  the educational program for an individual with autism must be

based on the unique needs of that  person. To help determine what sort of learning environment would

be best for a person with autism, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) should be developed. In the

IEP, a collaborative team that includes the classroom teacher, other professionals who work with the child, administrators and the child’s parents or guardians

set forth the educational goals, objectives, and evaluation standards for the child. Clearly stated, measurable goals to chart the child’s progress are a vital component of the IEP, which is reviewed annually or more frequently, if necessary. All areas of the student’s development is addressed

specifically in the IEP, including academic achievement, social and adaptive behavioral goals, and development of fine and gross motor skills. The development of communication skills (critical for

students with autism) should be a vital component of the IEP It is important for the IEP to not only

address areas of need, but also to outline ways to build upon a child’s strengths in specific subjects or skills. Support services, such as speech therapy to advance the student’s ability to understand and use language, must be included in a child’s IEP when appropriate. The IEP should also delineate any necessary adaptations to the learning environment or to school programming. Examples of adaptations to the learning environment include the physical placement of the student in the classroom, using visuals to enhance communication, or other modifications to the classroom. Examples of adaptations to the school programming include

extending school days, lengthening the school year to include summer months, and/or extending education programs into the home environment.