After looking into the VARK Theory of learning I began to wonder what kind of learners are children on the Autism Spectrum and how can I help those in the class do their work/improve their learning while i’m there.
I found this useful online extraction from a Journal which I believe is called Teaching exceptional children. I could be wrong but that’s what I gathered from the information on the pages.
Below I will have notes taken from the extraction.
- Autism – lifelong complex developmental disorder , impairment in the individuals process information
- deficits in a child’s ability to communicate, understand language, play, develop social skills and relate to others.
- children with autism face challenges such as using language, using words creatively, using imagination and thinking abstractly.
- this can affect understanding and use of language for communication
- importance of supports based on concrete visual teaching aids is largely upheld.
- Visual supports can be provided in different ways in all settings, school /home etc
Why use visual supports?
- Part of everyones communication system
- attract and hold student’s attention
- enable the student to focus on message
- make abstract concepts easier to understand
- help express students thoughts.
- Cohen 1998 – children with autism are visual rather than hearing/auditory learners. prefer alternative modes of communication, pictures.
- Hodgdon 2000 – when used correctly, visual supports allow the student with autism the freedom to engage in life, regardless of his or her impairment in communication
- Visual supports help bring in structure, routine and sequence that many children with autism need to be able to carry on their daily activities.
- students with autism experience a lot of difficulty processing language but processing and understanding visual supports is easier for them.
- important to understand the unique nature of the need of the individuals who require this support
- visual supports can attract and hold attention enabling student to focus on message and reduce anxiety, make abstract concepts more understandable and help prompt student + help them express their thoughts.
- require more visual supports than those without autism however not all require the same level of visual support.
- Quite often students don’t receive the visual support needed.
- problem isnt that teachers refuse, just don know how to provide the visual supports.
Rao & Gagie, S.M & B, 2006. Learning Through Seeing and Doing: Visual Supports for Children with Autism. Teaching Exceptional Children, [Online]. Jul/Aug 2006, 26. Available at: https://www.kresa.org/cms/lib4/MI01000312/Centricity/Domain/135/LearningThruSeeingAndDoing.pdf [Accessed 11 June 2017].