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Instructional Needs of Children with Autism Laura Weber Lead Teacher-Autism Pender County Schools.

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Presentation on theme: "Instructional Needs of Children with Autism Laura Weber Lead Teacher-Autism Pender County Schools."— Presentation transcript:

1 Instructional Needs of Children with Autism Laura Weber Lead Teacher-Autism Pender County Schools

2 Many of the difficulties experienced by individuals with autism are a direct result of executive function deficits. Inhibit Inhibit Shift Shift Emotional Control Emotional Control Initiate Initiate Monitor Monitor Working memory Working memory Plan/Organize Plan/Organize Organization of materials Organization of materials

3 Inhibit Inhibit Social intrusiveness Social intrusiveness Lack of personal safety Lack of personal safety Inappropriate physical responses to others Inappropriate physical responses to others Interrupting or calling out Interrupting or calling out Start activities or tasks before listening to instructions Start activities or tasks before listening to instructions Require higher external structure and adult supervision Require higher external structure and adult supervision

4 Shift Rigid and inflexible Rigid and inflexible Prefer consistent routines Prefer consistent routines Unable to move beyond something (desire, need) Unable to move beyond something (desire, need) Require additional explanation or demonstrations for novel tasks Require additional explanation or demonstrations for novel tasks Carry over a response style from one item to the next item Carry over a response style from one item to the next item

5 Emotional Control Frequent mood changes Frequent mood changes Becomes upset easily Becomes upset easily Small events trigger big reactions Small events trigger big reactions Reacts strongly to situations more than other children Reacts strongly to situations more than other children

6 Initiate Difficulty starting tasks Difficulty starting tasks Difficulty generating ideas Difficulty generating ideas Difficulty coming up with different ways to solve a problem Difficulty coming up with different ways to solve a problem

7 Self Monitoring Self Monitoring  Less cautious in approach to tasks  Do not notice or check for mistakes  Rush through work  Make careless mistakes  Unaware that what they are doing bothers others  Does not notice when his behavior causes negative reactions from others

8 Working Memory Inability to sustain attention and focus Inability to sustain attention and focus Difficulty staying on task to complete assignments Difficulty staying on task to complete assignments Trouble remembering things Trouble remembering things Lose track of what they are doing Lose track of what they are doing Forget what they were sent to retrieve Forget what they were sent to retrieve Miss information that exceeds their WM capacity Miss information that exceeds their WM capacity Cannot remember rules or procedures for completing a task Cannot remember rules or procedures for completing a task

9 Plan/Organize Plan/Organize Underestimate time required & level of difficulty of task Underestimate time required & level of difficulty of task Wait until last minute Wait until last minute Approach tasks in a haphazard fashion Approach tasks in a haphazard fashion Forgets to turn in assignments Forgets to turn in assignments Becomes overwhelmed by task Becomes overwhelmed by task Get caught up in the details and miss the “big picture” Get caught up in the details and miss the “big picture” Difficulty retrieving information Difficulty retrieving information to respond to open ended questions

10 Organization of Materials Difficulty keeping materials organized Difficulty keeping materials organized Doesn’t have materials readily available Doesn’t have materials readily available Can’t find belongings when needed Can’t find belongings when needed Messy work Messy work Disorganized work area (desk, book bag etc.) Disorganized work area (desk, book bag etc.)

11 Teaching Executive Function Skills Goal Setting Goal Setting Planning & organizing Planning & organizing Self-Regulation Self-Regulation Emotional Control Emotional Control Inhibition/Social Awareness Inhibition/Social Awareness Flexibility of thought Flexibility of thought Problem Solving Problem Solving

12 Teaching goal setting: Setting Goals  Child’s choice  Focused & attainable  Holding regular (often daily) sessions.  Identify potential obstacles and outline strategies to overcome them.  Written intervention plan created – allowing for shifting and changing goals.  Review previous day’s plan & goal attainment, develop plan for current day  Reward of goal attainment can be written into plan (particularly helpful with younger children). *Student will utilize strategies for goal setting, to include selection of goal, daily monitoring of progress and to make revisions as needed in order to complete a project independently 2/3 times presented.

13 Instruction in Planning and organizing assignments or projects:  Introduce use of a day planner  Teach student to break down assignments into tasks and help him assign time to getting task done  Time allocated at beginning of school term and beginning of each week to review projects  Number assignments by priority or sequence to be completed *Student will utilize strategies to break an assignment into chunks (tasks) and prioritize tasks in order of importance in order to complete an assignment independently 2/3 times presented.

14 Self-regulation is internalized self-talk – and children need to learn this self-regulatory self-talk at school and ideally at home as well. This is particularly important for children who do not “pick up” self-regulatory self-talk in the ordinary course of everyday interaction with adults and older children. Utilized for: Problem solving Social situations Academic procedures Learning strategies Emotional control *When presented difficult academic tasks (or social situations) student will utilize self-talk strategies to work through the situation a) with teacher modeling b) with written cues c) independently 4/5 times. Self-regulation

15 Emotional Control Emotional Control understand when, where and what situations cause them to get upset. understand when, where and what situations cause them to get upset. recognize early signs of becoming agitated so that they can take responsibility to advocate for their needs. recognize early signs of becoming agitated so that they can take responsibility to advocate for their needs. utilize strategies and calming techniques in order to manage their upset behaviors. utilize strategies and calming techniques in order to manage their upset behaviors. They need to be reinforced highly for applying strategies and replacement behaviors. * Student will utilize a visual cue with a scale of 1-5 to identify his emotional state 4/5 times. *Student will request a break and remove himself from the situation when becoming upset by utilizing a visual cue (break card, signal to teacher etc.) *Student will utilize calming strategies when beginning to become upset to avoid outbursts 4/5 times.

16 Inhibit Safety rules at school and home Safety rules at school and home Stranger danger Stranger danger Personal information/what to do if lost Personal information/what to do if lost Listening/following instructions Listening/following instructions Wait Wait Interrupt Interrupt Social skills instruction Social skills instruction *Student will identify situations as being safe or unsafe. *Student will demonstrate understanding of cause and effect in regards to safety issues by matching the potential effect with the appropriate cause. *Student will identify people as strangers vs. family/friends/helper people and demonstrate the appropriate response in roleplay. *Student will state complete name, address, phone number and parents names in order to respond in case of becoming lost. (if child is non verbal, an address label (laminated) can be placed in a pocket or sewed into the seam of clothing). *Student will increase his ability to wait during transitions to 5 minutes without physical behaviors or verbal outbursts. *Student will refrain from interrupting instruction by verbal outbursts by applying strategies (such as “I know the answer” or writing the statement on a sticky note to discuss with teacher after lesson) *Student will demonstrate appropriate ways to interrupt others by waiting, tapping on shoulder or saying excuse me and waiting for the other person to respond before speaking. *Student will state whether a person is “busy” or “not busy” and if it is ok to “interrupt”.

17 Shift Teach flexibility of thought Teach flexibility of thought Problem solving strategies Problem solving strategies Practice shifting from 1 activity to another Practice shifting from 1 activity to another Multi tasking activities Multi tasking activities Exposure to new experiences Exposure to new experiences *When given a 5 minute warning and a visual cue, student will stop one activity and move to another without verbal protest 2/3 times. *Student will engage in problem solving activities with an adult or peer by verbally stating a previously learned strategy in order to complete the task 2/3 times.

18 ACCOMMODATIONS & Instruction of how to utilize: ORGANIZATION: Work Systems Binders Homework folder Do Later To do/finished folder INITIATION & SELF MONITORING Checklists Task lists Point sheets Tally marks Daily Progress Report WORKING MEMORY Written Steps Algorithms or models Tool Kits * Given a visual cue, student will demonstrate the ability to independently initate written assignments 3/5 times. *Given a visual cue, student will remain on task to complete assignment with no more than 1 verbal reminder 4/5 times. *Student will access & utilize appropriate visuals as needed in order to complete classwork 3/5 times with no more than 1 prompt. *Given work systems and organizational structure, student will demonstrate the ability to organize materials and maintain organization 4/5 days.

19 REFERENCES: Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, PAR Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc. Executive Function in Education: From Theory to Practice, editor, Lynn Meltzer Improving Executive Function Skills(2008), Council for Exceptional Children, The Hidden Curriculum (2004), Myles et al, Autism Asperger Publishing Co. (For more references see EF and Autism PPT)


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