Autistic spectrum disorders are becoming more commonplace among pupils in today's schools. Less commonplace are teachers and professionals equipped to adequately adapt to and deal with children with autism. As researchers and medical professionals have been searching worldwide for a known cause and possible cures for autistic spectrum disorders, educators have been searching for methods to help minimise the behavioural deficiencies within the academic environment…
But to what extent is this possible; and what else needs to be done Truthfully, a lot more needs to be done for these methods of inclusive education to be successful. Some areas have excellent access to schooling systems equipped to teach children with autistic spectrum disorders while others have no provisions to handle these disabilities. This paper will look at some of the methods that have been researched worldwide, which of these methods are currently available, and how accessible these methods are to the children today in the United Kingdom. Strategies and ideas of what else needs to be done will also be discussed, as will be the results these methods have had to those children who have been lucky enough to gain access to inclusive education.
Autism is used to refer to a group of neurological disorders. These disorders interfere with the development of a child's behavioural and social communications skills (McLelland, 1999); often leaving the child to be seen as withdrawn-as though he or she is living enclosed in a world all alone. Autistic children frequently show impressive abilities, such as playing music with no mistakes after only hearing a piece once; however, these abilities are sometimes shadowed by a difficulty with speaking and perfecting some motor skills. These difficulties are commonly coupled with a seeming inability to effectively relate to others (McLelland, 1999). Autistic spectrum disorders, including Rett's Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome, have had a large effect on the classroom due to the lack of understanding and knowledge about the disorder. Because of some apparent disabilities, many autistic children find that they need some supervision throughout their lives. This constant need for supervision can make teaching in formal institutions difficult as autistic children need much more attention than healthy children without disabilities (McLelland, 1999). The question stands, though, as to what extent the need to become inclusive has been met.
Forty-five teachers in the United States were surveyed regarding their students with Asperger's Syndrome and the behaviours of those students in relation to the interaction received by their respective teachers (Hartman, 2001). The study was implemented to compare the behavioural interruptions or problems between autistic children in a special education environment versus those in a general education. Many of the problems found were abrupt interruptions, agitation, victimization, and difficulty following oral instructions. Other problems frequently included distractibility, strong, adverse reactions to change, and difficulty communicating wants and needs on the part of the student (Hartman, 2001). This study brought to both the medical community and the education teams the need for world-wide adjustment within the education systems to better include children with autistic spectrum disorders.
Concerns of this need have since spread through the United Kingdom (Irish Times, 2005). While an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) approach to teaching has been ...
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“It is society which disables physically impaired people. Disability is something imposed on top of our impairments; by the way we are unnecessarily isolated and excluded from full participation in society”
Children with Autism.
A brain disorder, which finds its roots in genetics as well as development, autism severely, affects the social interaction and communication of children it attacks. Where on one hand many people conceive autism as a disorder, many others disagree and claim that autism is just a difference and not a disease.
According to Ainscow (2005) “Inclusion is about the presence, participation and achievement of all students” (Ainscow, 2005 pp. 16) relation. This particular form of education is offered to individuals with disabilities and also to children necessitating require ‘Special Educational Needs’ (SEN).
Weaver and Hersey (2005) report that at least 1.5 million children and adults have been diagnosed with Autism in America as estimated by the The Spectrum Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) along with the developmental disorders that fall under its umbrella are disorders are characterized by deficits in social and communication skills.
Teachers do need to take the necessary measures to understand such students better and provide them required support so that they don't shy away from bringing their problems to the teacher rather they should find a friend, an ally in the teacher.
Inclusive education means that all students in a school, regardless of their strengths or weaknesses in any area, become part of the school community.
There is a need to unravel the true definition or the most acceptable of inclusive education. Additionally one needs to assess whether or not inclusive education has brought positive changes. The negative consequences need to be analysed too. A thorough discussion on inclusive education must not neglect the need for parental involvement and roles played by teachers to facilitate the transition.
Citivans were the pioneers of training teachers to take care of children with disabilities in 1952 Cohen, O. (1995:70-78).Educating people with disabilities vary from country to country. The ability of a learner acquiring special education depends on the
arily taking note of their specific needs, inclusive schooling has a profound emphasis on safeguarding the interests of children with SEND by ensuring they were able to adapt and fit into the system without prejudice, harassment, or victimization. Inclusive education is
The constitution also advocates for the rights of autistic individuals and other people with disabilities to be upheld. Various constitutional Acts support inclusive practice and ensure that the handling of handicapped persons is proper. The Handicapped Children Act of 1970 that advocates for the rights and decent treatment of children with disabilities.
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