Autism Awareness for Teachers and the Classroom

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Information about Autism Awareness for Teachers and the Classroom
Education

Published on March 3, 2014

Author: KarinaBarleyMEd

Source: slideshare.net

Description

It is vitally important for anyone who wants to work with children with Autism be aware of how ‘Autism’ is for their clients. The ‘Autism’ world can feel like a literal sensory minefield for those who have this condition and this can mean that day to day living can be confronting, frustrating and difficult. The consultant’s role is to make life more manageable and provide strategies that will assist clients who are on the Autism Spectrum to negotiate day to day living, as well as providing the best training for them to reach their potential.

This slide gives you an introduction to Autism Awareness,
A wealth of experience, research and knowledge has gone into developing this Autism Certification Course to provide you with the skills, training and strategies that can be used in the field, working with children and families who live with Autism.

GOING DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE… AUTISM AWARENESS FOR THE CLASSROOM  By Karina D. Barley (Dip Teaching, Grad Dip of Edu, M.Ed)  karinabarley@gmail.com  www.projectautismaustralia.com  www.digitallearningtree2com Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole© Click on the QR Code to learn more about DLT’s Autism Awareness course

“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see” ~John W. Whitehead Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

Overview – Autism – What is it? Meaning & What does it mean for students? What is AS? Definition adapted from Autism Victoria Australia (www.amaze.org.au) Autism Spectrum (AS) affect around 1 in every 100-110 people and impact on an individual’s ability to communicate, socialise and think imaginatively. These figures are quite significant and the growing population of children with autism have huge implications for all schools and teachers because almost all schools will come face to face with this issue (if they haven’t already done so). Autism Spectrum is a developmental condition which affects three main abilities in each individual. The ability: • to communicate • to socialise, and • to think flexibly Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

• Even though individuals with AS have difficulties in the areas of communication, socialisation, and imagination or flexibility of thought, each is at a different point on the spectrum and so may seem quite different. Some people with an AS will be able to live independent lives while others will always need assistance and support. • Many have unique talents and abilities that the ‘Autism’ masks and it is here where I believe educators need to discover the potential in all students who have Autism. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

Reuters (2012) in New York recently reported that about one in 88 children in the United States have Autism or a related disorder, the highest estimate to date. This is increasing the debate on 1/ what is causing the increase and whether there is a need for a cure and 2/ how can Governments and services provide better resources to assist parents and carers who have children diagnosed with Autism. According to Autism Speaks, one of the leading advocacy, funding and research organizations, we still are unsure of what causes Autism, but we do know that there is no one cause of Autism and also not one type of Autism. Scientists over the last few years have identified some genetic identifiers linked to Autism, but it is still believed that there are also environmental factors that may influence early brain development. We are still along way from really understanding Autism and research on causes and cures can take a very long time, so I believe it is more imperative that we focus on services and how we can assist families and children affected by this condition. It is the view of many researchers and experts such as Simon Baron-Cohen (2005) and Temple Grandin (2010) that Autism is not so much a disorder but indeed a difference in learning styles or in the way the brain functions. Therefore rather than trying to find a way to ‘fix’ or ‘cure’ these children it is more important to understand them and cater to their differences. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

Experiencing the world for an individual who is on the Autism Spectrum Individuals with AS feel like they are bombarded with sensations. They are often very visual and learn in different ways to others. Their difficulties with communication mean that they often miss nuances and jokes and take what people say very literally. SENSORY VIDEO & EXERCISE http://youtu.be/FmoSrKbRt3M SENSORY VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPDTEuotHe0 Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

THE TRANSFORMING EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT? • It is important that schools and educators allow for change not only to how we perceive ‘Autism’ and other disability, but how we are educating our children in general. We are working from a model of education that is based in the early 1900s. Since then we’ve had an industrial revolution and a technological revolution, and our education system needs to reflect this. • Our children come to school having been well and truly exposed to and stimulated by technology in the form of iPhones, DS’, iPads, XBox . Therefore it makes sense that schools integrate technology into the curriculum in a much more effective and proactive way. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

It is vitally important for teachers to be aware of how ‘Autism’ is for their students. The Autism world can be a literal sensory minefield for students and the school environment needs to be designed in a way where it creates a secure environment that is conducive to learning. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

I use the “Alice in Wonderland” story as an analogy for the ‘world of Autism’ as I feel that it fits perfectly. By ‘going down the rabbit hole’, you step into a different world that challenges us to step outside of the box of what is considered ‘normal’. Also, not everything is as it seems with Autism, it is a unique, mysterious and oftentimes confusing way of being, and as educators we are challenged to be more creative and imaginative. Finally, when we take that leap, what we discover ‘down the rabbit hole’ is delightful and surprising. We discover kids who are incredibly bright, interesting and imaginative in diverse and unique ways. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

• We have to remove the terminology “disability” and change it to difference or uniqueness. Some parts of the UK are using the term ‘difable’ as in ‘different abled’. • We need to evolve to a holistic approach to education focusing on discovering what makes each child “tick” and then creating an individual learning program based on their specific talents. • We must use and embrace technology in a far more effective way, so that all children have opportunities to achieve success. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

• We need to see “Autism” as potential not something to be cured. • We need to create schools that are a place where all children can learn, grow and evolve as extraordinary human beings who have been guided and encouraged to reach their potential in areas where they have talent and gifts! As educators you have a responsibility to create a future for the children we come in contact with; and we need to see what potential shines in each student. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

• Children with Autism have a unique energy. No matter what you call it, vibration, connection, frequency, aura – simply these kids function differently to us. • They negotiate the world in a way that is specific to them – some may be visual; some may have heightened auditory senses; some may have heightened sensory processes; some have extraordinary memories or mathematical skills. Every child is different. • Whatever their uniqueness may be; the world they see looks different to ours. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

• Another misconception is that all children with Autism are intellectually disabled. If we take this position, then we miss the unique gifts all children bring us. • We need to harness the talents and gifts of all children and hence harness the potential of all children. However, many children with autism are tucked away in special and mainstream schools NOT achieving the success they are capable of! Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

iPads™ and Autism Why are they iPads™ so effective in the classroom? I believe iPads™ and their use in educational settings have incredible implications for learning and learning outcomes. I’ve trialled using iPads™ across the main curriculum areas in my classroom with students who have Autism and there were significant improvements across the board for all students’ learning. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

There is significant research on how Computer Assisted Learning or Technology Assisted learning can enhance the learning of children with disabilities. Given that information, I sought to improve my student’s chance of success. When I saw the iPad™ I believed this technology could possibly revolutionise the education of children with disabilities. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

Within one term, I noticed significant changes in the classroom. Children who struggled to concentrate previously had no issue sitting and working with the iPad; they worked hard and consistently and didn’t even realise they were doing ‘school work’; they were motivated and eager to start their work; they went home and were able to tell their parents what they were achieving; their vocabulary and communication improved; and overall behaviour within the classroom improved. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

This is because: • Design and functionality capabilities make the iPad™ an extremely user friendly and exciting technological tool. • iPads™ are small enough to sit on the desk or on a student’s lap. They are compact and transportable. • Using a case means the tablet can be tilted for ease of use. • The teacher is able to sit anywhere and observe how the student is working. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

• The interface is interactive, colourful and the graphics are engaging. • The touch screen enables almost any child to use this equipment unaided. This makes learning especially easy for those children who have fine motor or hand-eye co-ordination issues. • It is extremely easy to individualise programs and have student’s working at their own pace and ability. • Visually the graphics are fantastic and the device is multi-sensory in that the children can physically touch the screen, look at the graphics, listen to the sounds and in many instances use their voice. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

• There are literally 1000’s of applications that focus on all subject areas. • There is significant research that states that students benefit from technology-based instruction because they can learn at their own pace and focus on topics that interests them in depth. • This technology facilitates student centred learning. • Students are learning and they don’t even realise it. • The role of the teacher becomes a facilitator or mentor. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

• Students are able to use ‘thinking’ skills as part of a ‘thinking’ curriculum. • Students are enthusiastic and motivated to learn. • Children are partially ‘student directed’ as the students navigate their way around the specific ‘apps’ independently. • Students work at their own pace. • The iPad™ multi-sensory aspect enhances the learning experience for the student with Autism. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

• The iPads™ design and applications allow for the integration of Gardner’s MI (1983) by offering a variety of opportunities to excel in the various intelligences. • There is significant research that states that students benefit from technology-based instruction because they can learn at their own pace and focus on topics that interests them in depth. • This technology facilitates student centred learning. • Students are learning and they don’t even realise it. • The role of the teacher becomes a facilitator or mentor. Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

"You don't have to have "If I could snap my fingers and be non autistic, I would not because then I wouldn't be me. Autism is part of who I am." --Temple Grandin a disability to be different" Kim Peek (the real “Rain Man”) "I do not suffer from Autism, but I do suffer from the way you treat me." -Tyler Durdin “I just want to continue to exist, but you continue to question my very existence!” – Alyson Bradley Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole© Asperger’s syndrome has probably been an important and valuable characteristic of our species throughout evolution." Tony Attwood " The path I travel is lit by those who came before me, and it will shine brighter for those who follow me.

http://www.digitallearningtree2.com http://www.digitallearningtree.com/product/p-edu9231-understanding-supporting-children-with-autism/  Click on the QR Code to learn more about DLT’s courses Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

Authored by Karina Barley Please go to this drop box link for a list of iPad apps I have collated for students who have Autism: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8mnvfe2kfssq fxv/ZE9X54LLsY/ Karina D. Barley Autism Awareness Going Down the Rabbit Hole©

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