Autism and Education
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Education / Classroom - Articles

Education can be a challenge for those with ASD and their parents. This section includes topics like: back to school tips for parents and teachers; easy strategies for inclusive classrooms; and how to advocate for your child at school.

Tips To Teach Whole Body Listening: It’s a Tool Not a Rule

Adapted from an article by: Elizabeth Sautter, MA, CCC-SLP Phrases like “pay attention” and “listen carefully” ring out in classrooms across the country. Moms, dads, and other caregivers can be heard saying some version of these same words to children everywhere. Paying attention and listening to others are not only considered essential for social communication, but also for learning to be…

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Back to School Tips for Parents and Teachers

As the new school year begins, many parents of students who have Autism Spectrum Disorders are filled with trepidation as they know this involves establishing a relationship with their child’s new teacher, as well as the development of routines of communication and interaction. Many parents worry about how much the teacher knows about Autism Spectrum Disorders. They wonder: How much training have they had? Will the teacher be patient? Will he or she like my child? Will everyone get along and agree on goals and expectations?

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Helpful Guidelines When Planning, Making and Using Visual Supports

A visual support can be anything that shows a student what to expect and/or what is expected on the student. The image itself may take any one or a combination of forms: objects, photographs, line drawings, printed words. The benefits of using visual supports with students with ASD are well established and can be obvious to even the casual observer in a classroom, home or community setting.

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Differentiating Instruction

Five Easy Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms

Many general educators believe that they need specialized strategies to teach students with disabilities. While it can be beneficial to know about certain types of disabilities before teaching students with labels, often teachers are effective when they are accepting, look for strengths in their students, provide personal attention when necessary, and allow for differences in the ways students approach tasks and complete classroom work.

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Supporting Executive Function Disorder in Children with Autism

Many children with autism have deficits in executive functions. This can be likened to an employee who works for a company where the supervisor is unorganized and inefficient. Nothing seems to go right, things get misplaced, and general chaos seems to be the operational rule. It’s a lot like that for children with autism spectrum disorders. The executive in charge of their brain is not effective, and because of this, planning processes suffer.

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Take the Pencil Out of the Process

As we have learned more about how we learn, both through observation and study, a critically important fact has emerged: many students have difficulty with the physical printing and writing process – difficulty which is significant enough to interfere with their academic performance.

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Using Strengths, Fascinations, & Areas of Expertise in the Classroom

Many individuals with autism have deep interest in one or a variety of topics. Some interests are commonly seen across individuals with autism (e.g., trains, horses, light switches), others seem more unique to an individual person. For instance, Sean Barron, a man with autism once had a deep interest in the number 24. At another point in his life, he became fascinated by dead-end streets (Barron & Barron, 1992)

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Considerations in Teaching More Advanced Students with Autism

In this guide, the three terms used above will be referenced as “AS” or “the spectrum” Many students on the spectrum demonstrate exceptional abilities in a vast array of skills and talents. These can include but are not limited to: exceptional memory, mathematical skills, calendar projections, computers, music, exceptionally early and advanced reading skills (“hyperlexia”), poetry, writing stories and general writing skills, spelling, punctuation and grammar, imitations of people or animals, painting, sculpture and other forms of visual arts, chemistry and physics.

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