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What's new in autism education?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I used to teach Special Ed until 3 years ago, and I was very well-versed in, or at least familiar with, various teaching methods - Verbal Behavior, FloorTime, SonRise, etc. But since I've been out of the field for a few years I've kind of lost touch.

 

What's new and "cutting edge" in autism teaching? What have you read about or are excited about for your child? What works or has worked, and vice versa?

 

 

post #2 of 6

We don't follow any specific plan or thing like that, we are against methods like ABA for our family so everyone on our team follows that and of course this carries over into his education.  But in the past few years we've seen a huge push within our schools on just basic awareness and neurodiversity. The teachers are extremely positive when talking about the Autistic students and we see that in the things they use and how they teach.

 

Within our schools I know that the special ed teachers have acquired and utilized alternative reading programs and reading methods vs just holding a child back or making them push through.  Being willing to try several systems until one works.  More technology available for student use like the NEO Alphasmarts and in-room computer stations. LOTS of sensory stuff and making it ok and normal to use tools for sensory needs (ie: standup desks, exercise balls, fidgets, hammock swings etc.) A lot of inclusion and making the child feel comfortable with themselves and the other students don't look at them as much as having something wrong. The one-on-one aides don't stand out as much, I think the training has gotten better there so the students don't feel like they are being singled out as much.

 

So overall I think that just the knowledge and acceptance has improved and that's a huge positive and change. (at least in our schools)

post #3 of 6

Hi Devon!

 

I agree with Kristine.  I see less methods and more awareness of neurodiversity.  Our teachers really work to meet ds's needs as an individual -- not as autistic child.

 

post #4 of 6

I wouldn't say that I see less use of methods, but rather a blending of methods. For example, I see more parents and providers doing things like combining techniques from ABA/VB, TEACCH, and Floortime - taking what works best from each method. As a result programs are more flexible in their approach and more tailored to the individual child. Also I see a lot of attention being paid to the child's unique sensory profile and building accommodations around that.

post #5 of 6

RDI certainly isn't new, but i would say it's gaining in popularity more lately.  it's parent-led, but while it's not technically implemented in classrooms, the principles can be adopted by anyone, in any environment.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

That's great! I was so hoping for more blending of approaches... most of the schools I was familiar with, including where I worked, tended to be very dogmatic in their approach.

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