Classroom Success for High Functioning Autism

 When students with autism are mainstreamed into the regular classroom setting they would be much more sucessful in classes that are their academic strengths, strong interests, and take place in a structured setting. Many high-functioning students with autism have been very successful in school when they are assisted by an individual aide. Again this should be a person who knows about autism. Such a person would benefit from receiving specific training regarding high-functioning autism. The aide is most helpful when they assist in developing and implementing the structure that will be useful in increasing the child’s independence. Providing a student with autism structured opportunities to interact with peers can help him develop his social skills. Another way a student with autism might benefit is to have an assigned buddy who accompanies him in some less structured social situations. As students with autism move into middle school and high school, extracurricular activities become another structured opportunity for peer interaction. Joining groups that are related to the strengths and interests of a child with autism gives them the opportunity to interact around a shared interest.

Many students with autism benefit from using a notebook that helps them organize their work and materials. Some students have difficulty remembering which books to take home. It is often helpful to give students with autism two sets of books; one for home and one for school. This reduces the number of ideas that the child needs to organize to be able to complete his homework in a timely way. It is also important for individuals with autism to learn to rely on daily schedules. By doing so, they will be able to function in a more organized and independent manner as adults. A daily schedule can be writen on the inside cover of their school notebook. Changes can be highlighted so that he can anticipate them without becoming upset.

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