Autism Spectrum Disorders includes a broad range of personality disorders which include autism and Asperger Syndrome among other disorders. Those with any of the ASDs exhibit signs such as low levels of comprehension, poor communication skills and repetitive behaviors. Autism is the most prevalent of the ASDs. It is exhibited in children younger than 2 years of age through low levels of comprehension of the outside world. In addition to this, slow comprehension in verbal and non-verbal communication contexts is also a significant feature of autism. In individuals with Asperger Syndrome, the symptoms are almost similar to those of autism although a little mild. Similarly, other disorders associated with the ASDs are also exhibited in different ways depending on the nature and severity of the disorders. The causes of Autism have been found to include genetic and environmental factors. Aspects such as mutation, synaptic dysfunction and air pollution have all been related to the development of Autism (Levy, 2009).
Autism is the most serious and the most common disorder among the range of ASDs. This disorder is associated with three major types described as social communication, social interactions and social imaginations. The particular signs that accompany each of these variants of autism are different. However, in all the types of autism, the key signs are the difficulty in comprehension and understanding language, both verbal and body signals. Johnson and Myers (2007) report that those with autism may not find it easy to talk verbally but some of them communicate using signs and symbols. Children with autism can best be assisted through incorporation in inclusive classroom settings. Inclusive classrooms have students with and without learning disabilities all learning together. To better assist the autistic students, the first step to be taken by the teachers in inclusive classroom settings is to learn about the learners from themselves. This is through asking questions that provide answers desired by the teachers.
Other methods that could be used by teachers in inclusive classrooms are the use of fascinating and different teaching methods, giving choices to the autistic students to only work on projects with which they feel comfortable and providing alternatives for the autistic students. Participation is also another crucial step that could help teachers to help their students better. Students with autism are also likely to find it difficult to be organized. Helping such students in organizing can help the teachers to address their needs. This is in addition to providing comfort and conducive environment for learning and helping the students during physical and emotional transitions. Inclusion and creation of breaks during study are also imperative in order to experience the benefits of inclusive classrooms for the autistic children (Kluth, 2010).
Helping children with autism is not the sole responsibility of the teachers. The entire community should also take part in helping the children to develop better. For instance, the church and parents can also play an essential role in ensuring that these children develop successfully. The combination of efforts can go a long way in ensuring the success of the process. Parents for instance can join support groups to be guided on how to take care of their autistic children. The community should be taught that autism is not sufficient reason for exclusion since it is not a physical deficiency (Landa, 2007). This can help to reduce the harshness with which those with autism are frequently viewed.
Johnson, C. P., & Myers, S. M. (2007). Identification and evaluation of children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 120(5), 1183-1215.
Kluth, P. (2010). You’re going to love this kid! Washington Ave, Baltimore, United States: Paul H Brooks.
Landa, R. (2007). Early communication development and intervention for children with autism. Mental retardation and developmental disabilities research reviews, 13(1), 16-25.
Levy, S. E. (2009). Autism. Lancet, 374, 1627-1638.
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