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006 TEACHING STUDENTS WITH AUTISM -LARGE.jpg

Autism in the Classroom - Inclusive Teaching Methods

Course Summary

This course mainly focuses on the approach to children with ASD in a mainstream classroom. It may be intuitive and easy, but also challenging and hard to work with children with Autism. There are many methods, many philosophies, and many different approaches which make it is easy to get lost in all of the information they provide. We try, we make mistakes and we learn, but it is always best to have better knowledge, understanding and skills to support your work. Throughout the course, we will focus on both theoretical and practical knowledge, as one does not work without the other. In the theoretical part of the course, we will get a better understanding of ASD and the behavioral approaches to humans. In the practical part, we will try out some of the evidence-based methods considered to be the best support to apply in a setting such as a school. The knowledge gained throughout the course is applicable to all pupils, not only special needs children, because at the bottom of it all, we are all the same. The only difference is the level and area of support that each of us need.

Course Detailed Description

This course mainly focuses on the approach to children with ASD in a mainstream classroom. It may be intuitive and easy, but also challenging and hard to work with children with Autism. There are many methods, many philosophies, and many different approaches which make it is easy to get lost in all of the information they provide. We try, we make mistakes and we learn, but it is always best to have better knowledge, understanding and skills to support your work. Throughout the course, we will focus on both theoretical and practical knowledge, as one does not work without the other. In the theoretical part of the course, we will get a better understanding of ASD and the behavioral approaches to humans. In the practical part, we will try out some of the evidence-based methods considered to be the best support to apply in a setting such as a school. The knowledge gained throughout the course is applicable to all pupils, not only special needs children, because at the bottom of it all, we are all the same. The only difference is the level and area of support that each of us need.

After this course, participants will have a better understanding of:

  • ASD

  • the importance of being educated to better support children with Autism

  • the importance of good methods and a good teaching plan that includes generalization

  • different skills we can use to support students

  • the importance of teaching functional skills

Participants will also be encouraged to participate in workshops through which they will be able to try out the methods they learned throughout the course.

COURSE SCHEDULE (Day by day):

Day 1

  • Introduction 

  • Course outline 

  • Ice-breaking activities

  • Introduction of the participants, their goals for the class and their challenges, school presentations 

  • Fundamental course knowledge:

  • What is ASD?

  • Teaching a child with ASD in the mainstream classroom;

  • Common difficulties of ASD that could be the barriers to learning in the mainstream classroom

  • Some difficulties of a school system that could be important barriers in a child's development.

  • Guided city tour

Day 2

  • What is a behavioral approach?;

  • Behavioral principles and motivation;

  • Is a child just a behavior? (Maslow's pyramid);

  • Scientific approach to thinking about behavior;

  • Different methods we can use to help – categorized by the barrier we are trying to overcome

  • Discussion

Day 3

  • Challenging behavior:

  • How to approach challenging behavior

  • Functions of behavior

  • Simple methods we can use to help

  • Communication – FCT - initiation

  • How to build vocabulary

  • Choice board as a support for FCT

  • Generalization, and why is it so important

  • Workshop - Let's practice!

  • Discussion


Day 4

  • Work tolerance:

  • Primack principle

  • Token system

  • Choice board

  • Trust is important!

  • Creating relationship with a child

  • Consistency in our own rules

  • Gradual Progress!

  • Why do we hurry if development takes time?

  • Importance of gradual progress

  • Understanding of child's capacity for work/play ratio

  • Workshop - Let's practice!

  • Discussion


Day 5

  • Social skills:

  • Lack of skills doesn't mean lack of interest

  • Ways to support a child's social skills

  • Social Skills Assessment as a guide

  • Peer intervention 

  • Visual support

  • What is it and why is it important?

  • How do we apply it properly?

  • Digital tools to help us with visual support

  • Workshop + self evaluation


Day 6 

  • Course evaluation

  • Certificate awarding 

  • Excursion and other external cultural activities

Course outcomes

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the potential challenges of ASD.

  • Understand the complexity of inclusion and integration

  • Understand the behavioral approach

  • Understand Maslow's pyramid as an underlying agent of behavior

  • Get to know different methods of approaching different needs for optimal learning

  • Get to know some of the approaches that support functional communication and overall management of a child's time in school, supporting the learner's skill acquisition while addressing challenging behaviors

  • Understand the functions of behavior

  • Understand the importance of the teacher's awareness of prerequisite skills

  • Understand the importance of the teacher's flexibility in choosing an optimal approach to teaching

  • Understand the importance of having well-educated assistants in classrooms

  • Learn ways to create materials to support the needs of children with special needs

  • Increase understanding of different systems dealing with special needs children in different countries, cultivating mutual respect and intercultural awareness

  • Understand the importance of continual professional development, and build confidence in advocating for pedagogies that are supportive of special needs children and social and cultural diversity

  • Meet colleagues of different nationalities within the EU, engage in cross-cultural learning experiences, exchange ideas, and build a network for future international cooperation

  • Enrich communication skills, improve foreign language competencies, broaden professional vocabulary and promote the EU’s broad linguistic diversity

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