The content of this article is derived from a video by Global Autism Solutions, particularly by Gerd Winkler, the director of the establishment, who has had an extensive amount of experience with families of children on the Autism Spectrum. You may find the video, titled “When Parents Change, So Do Their Children”, here.
In this video, parents voiced out their concerns about not being able to change certain “undesirable” behaviours of their children despite many attempts to correct them. Their conversations with Gerd presented important issues that reflected the impact parents have on their children’s learning and challenged them to be aware of their beliefs, assumptions, and judgements they have on their children, which may sometimes be unhelpful. Respecting children’s interest, and refraining from imposing expectations on them are two learning points that can be made from the video.
Specific Learning Disability (SLD) is a permanent disorder caused by neurological impairments that interfere with acquiring, integrating and demonstrating verbal and non-verbal abilities. As a result, students with SLD are poor communicators and have difficulties interacting with others.
For a child to be diagnosed with SLD, the child has to function two grades below his/her age-appropriate grade in reading, writing, arithmetic, or mixed abilities. The child may also exhibit psychological signs due to the disability such as quitting, avoiding, clowning, controlling and denying all.
Priya is a typical example of a student with SLD. She had difficulty understanding the order, sounds, and recognition of letters and hence affected her learning. And because of her learning difficulty, she felt very frustrated at school.
In order to help students with SLD such as Priya, inclusive teaching techniques can be used. Inclusive teaching can start with the school and teachers providing a...
I have taught students with special needs for more than 35 years. I have taught students with visual disabilities, auditory disabilities, mental retardation as well as specific learning disabilities.
I am more perplexed when I deal with a kid with a learning disability. Though all special educators rightly give importance to early intervention, my heart goes to the struggle teenagers face, after basic remediation.
Many of my students who joined me while in their primary school have now grown to be independent and doing well in life. I have seen them struggling not only in school but at home, in their social circle and handling their emotions as adults.
All L.D. Students have reading/writing/spelling/math difficulties. Fortunate ones receive early intervention and good remedial support. But what percentage of them remain in the mainstream and complete their high school diploma, in a regular school set up?
Many schools provide resource facilities up to the end of primary school....
Hyperlexia is a term that struck me when I first came across it. Maybe, because I had never heard of it. So, I decided to explore it further. It turned out to be my light bulb moment because I was working with an amazing little child diagnosed with Autism who would fit in the description of hyperlexia. I could relate the two now. And I finally found the word I was looking for.
This child has an exceptional reading ability. In his grade, he was the only child in class (only ASD in a class of 30 neurotypical children) who could read fluently without any error and much beyond his age. Now if only you would hear him read, you would be astonished too, just like his teachers. The reading is advanced beyond his age but I can’t say the same for comprehension. Comprehension and understanding the text is compromised. And so are the social interactions and understanding & use of verbal language, also traits of Autism. As I dug deeper into the world of...
I am from Balikpapan, Indonesia and I am a mother of two children. My first child is a girl and my second child is a boy. We realized there was something wrong with my second child when he was two years old. He liked spinning the wheel of a toy car for hours instead of playing with it. He also liked walking in circles and only stopped when you held him. He never responded when we called his name. We did not think his actions and responses were unusual. We thought if we waited, these actions and responses would change as he grew older. We were wrong. After 6 months, he remained the same. So, we decided to bring him to a pediatrician and after examining him, he diagnosed my son as having autism. He was two and a half years old.
Autism never crossed our mind. We thought he only needed more stimuli to improve. I remembered crying the whole night after hearing the diagnosis. We felt depressed and helpless because we did not know what to do for our boy.
The following morning, we...
I am going to relate two scenarios to you.
Scenario 1- Child A is unable to use a given shopping list to go and buy items needed from a nearby supermarket.
Scenario 2- Child B is unable to perform the task instructed by his parent to make separately packed picnic lunches of sandwiches for himself and his four friends.
In both scenarios, the children were having difficulties with performing certain life skills.
Why do you think this was so?
Sometimes, children who seem to be not very different from other children of the same age, display difficulties such as those mentioned in the above two scenarios. More often than not, this can be traced to weak academic skills and their difficulty in applying these skills in everyday life situations. This underlines the importance of acquiring two key skills especially in elementary/primary education that have a lasting impact in academic achievements and gaining important life skills. These core skills are literacy and numeracy skills.
There are hundreds of day-to-day life situations where positive reinforcements are used. A boy gets a candy after helping someone, a baby takes his first steps and everybody claps, a student gets a star on his hand after nicely doing his worksheet, a girl gets a hug from her grandpa after picking up his cane, an employee gets a bonus for extra work hours, a customer gets a soap-free when he buys two, a soldier receives feedback by his sergeant upon successfully completing the task, a child with special needs receives a cookie and a high-5 with a big smile from his teacher when he successfully completes stacking a tower, etc. There so many more such examples where either we use them, not even knowingly; and we are also being used these techniques upon (e.g. in the example of the customer).
In all the above examples, one link is common. Something happens or something is done and after that (or as a result of that) a positive, enjoyable entity is added. This “added...
Reading stories is a great way to explore and learn new things. It can be very enjoyable and entertaining. Children with reading difficulties, however, may not be able to comprehend stories well, and in turn, experience lesser enjoyment while reading.
Incorporating multi-sensorial elements into the process of reading has shown to allow learning to be more concrete and enjoyable (Korkmaz & Karatepe, 2018). This article will suggest ways you can engage the senses in the process of reading.
Being able to visualise the scenes in a story as it progresses can help readers to comprehend the story better. Try working with the child to identify the components of the story such as the setting, characters, and events of the story, and create these components using craft materials (e.g. creating sock puppets of the characters).
Through the reenactment of the story with the props created, it allows for the words in the books to come...
Caregiving is a demanding task. When it comes to caring for a loved one with special needs, caregivers can face many struggles and challenges. It can also become a full-time responsibility for some caregivers. Some caregivers even gave up their careers in order to provide full-time care for their loved ones with special needs.
Caregiving is stressful and caregivers are prone to suffer from caregiver stress which in the long run can lead to caregiver burnout. And there are stress-relieving strategies that caregivers can adopt to help mitigate the stress impact. Hence, to be able to provide caregiving in the long term, it is important to strike a balance between caregiving and stress relieves.
To strike a balance between caregiving and self-care, it is necessary first to learn to be able to identify signs or symptoms of caregiver stress. Some of the common signs and symptoms of caregiver stress are listed below:
Reading is a skill and we are all aware reading fluency is critical. Learning to read can be a daunting task for learners with autism spectrum. However, by applying the correct coaching techniques and understanding the learner’s interest and learning capability, coaching a learner with autism spectrum to read can be much easier.
Learners with autism spectrum disorder are vulnerable to distractions. They have the tendency to get distracted by sounds and brightness and may not be capable to filter out irrelevant details such as noises and visual information. They may get distracted from the sounds or noises coming from fans or even the air conditioners.
It is recommended to provide a quiet room for the learner. Ensure outside noise are kept to a minimum. And do not sit the learner facing bright sunlight or near to a flickering fluorescent lighting. Instead, try opting for natural light or reading lamp for the reading session, as this can...