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July 21, 5:48 PMLA Special Education ExaminerDiana DeCoster

 

Autism spectrum disorder ( ASD) is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, as well as repetitive and restricted behavior, which becomes apparent before the age of three. 

 

As the term “spectrum” indicates, no two children affected by ASD behave in exactly the same way.  The degree of help a child with ASD needs is dependent on that particular child, not the diagnosis of ASD. 

 

For example, a child with type of ASD called Asperger Syndrome may have a much better vocabulary than his age-mates, but be obsessed with making model airplanes and have no friends at school due to an inability to read social cues.  Another child with ASD may not have any language at all, may not be able to toilet independently, and may react to frustration by biting himself on the arms. 

 

Frequently, children with ASD of various degrees of severity attend general education classrooms, despite special education eligibility.  This is termed “inclusion,” or “mainstreaming.”  KidsTogether, an inclusion-based program, describes inclusion in the following way: “Inclusion in school requires a shift in the paradigm, instead of getting the child ready for the regular class, the regular class gets ready for the child.”

 

Read More …  http://www.examiner.com/x-59948-LA-Special-Education-Examiner~y2010m7d21-Autism-in-the-classroom–The-benefits-and-drawbacks-of-inclusion



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