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Zablotsky (2015) states that Autism is known as a lifelong and developmental disability that affects how a person communicates and relates different people and how they experience the world around them. The disability “autism spectrum” describes wide range of difficulties that people experiences; however under autism, people are able to live normal life (McLeskey, Rosenberg and Westling, 2012). The main areas of difficulty are in social communication, social interaction and repetitive behaviors and interests.
According to Poling (2014), Autism is a specific disorder that is categorized by significant impairments in social interaction and communication skills as well as it also challenges understanding level of the person.
Zimmermann (2014) contends that Autism Spectrum Disorder is a very complicated disability and in order to include students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, professionals must comprehend the spectrum of disorders so that on such basis, adequate precautionary measures can be taken into account (Crosland and Dunlap, 2012).
The exact cause of autism has not been identified yet; but it generates in human due to complex genetic and environmental factors. It is also called a genetic based disorder. In identifying causes of the disorder, Psychoanalytic theory states that childhood autism is caused by environmental factors and many rehabilitation centers have conducted studies to identify the causes of autism (Abu-Hamour and Muhaidat, 2014). However, social model argues that autism is generating among people widely and whose impacts is generally observed in individual's bodies and minds. Hence, this group confirms that autism is originated from the relationships that connect people that means from hereditary. Absence of social connection clearly defines that autism affects mental and physical capability of the patient and it also affects ordinary life cycle (Crosland and Dunlap, 2012).
In the year 1943, Leo Kanner formally documented Autism disorder through his observations of eleven children with developmental disorders. Since, that time many changes have been made in both the perception of the disorder and its prevalence of diagnosis (Engstrand and Roll Pettersson, 2014).
According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Gelbar, Smith and Reichow, 2014). Autism means a development disability significantly affecting vernal and non-verbal ability of interaction; however most of the people in the society separate Autistic persons because they have speech problem (Gray, 2014). The term does not apply it a child's performance is adversely affected primarily because usually children do have serious problems related to studies. The education and treatment of individuals with autism has undergone extreme changes (Parsons, 2015). Children who faces issues related to autism are more creative and innovative and they are also different because they help themselves to see things differently that happens around them (Hansen, Schendel and Parner, 2015). An increasing number of young people in schools seems to be identified as autistic because they have Autism Spectrum Disorder and usually they learn things differently because of their identified behavior. (Iadarola, 2015). It is not a new condition and there are several reason that causes autism in the children.
Considering the past scenario, individuals with disabilities have unfortunately been left on the outskirts of society and they are also subjected to numerous injustices such as infanticide, physical abuse, slavery and forced sterilization (The Pros and Cons of Inclusion for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2011). Fully inclusion classrooms are an ideal location for the implementation of social interaction interventions and behavioral interventions. Those who faces issues related to autism are not physically impaired; however they are highly unable in managing their lives because of the less interacting ability. Almost every member of the family diagnose the disorder in early stage of the childhood because they notice and observe the problems children have during they communicate things. Because people with autism have different features and symptoms and health care providers think of autism as a spectrum disorder (Reeves, Umbreit, Ferro and Liaupsin, 2013). The cause of autism is not yet known; but autism lasts throughout a person's lifetime (Locke, 2013).
As per the views of Sullivan (2013), there are various types of autism happening to humans such as Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Asperger's syndrome, Rett syndrome and childhood Disintegrative disorder.
People on the autism spectrum may also have unusual sensory interests such as sniffing objects or they also have staring disorder in which they stare objects and movements for so long. Apart from this, they also face issues related to intellectual impairment and learning difficulties. From many research studies, it has been observed that Autism affects almost four times compared to other diseases (Roberts and Simpson, 2016). When people refer to Autism today, they usually talk about Autism Spectrum Disorder which are five complex, brain disorders that affect a person's behavior as well as social and communication skills (Santarosa and Conforto, 2016). Autistic disorder is one of the more common among the five sub types and it is found within the first three years of life.
The symptoms are known to everyone because it includes abnormal and impaired development in social interaction. Autistic people are not mentally ill, they are unable to express their feelings to others; however they have more problems in communicating things properly to others (Watkins, Zimmermann and Poling, 2014). Thus, from the discussion it is clear that Autism is known as a complex, lifelong and neurological development disorder that affects 3 in every 1000 children and it is diagnosed as a series issue among boys and girls. There is no identified cause of this disorder and no known means of preventing its affliction (Segall, and Campbell, 2012). It is vital to understand that this disorder is highly assorted and individual children vary in degree of severity from mild to severity for each group of attributes (Zablotsky, 2015). Autism can not be considered as a disease because it is a disorder where in a person is unable to identify the things that happens in the surroundings (Turner, 2013).
It has been identified Volkmar and Reichow, (2013) that autism in young children comprises of both joint attention disturbance motor movements. However, these signs changes with time and people faces more issues in theory of mind and also in attention difficulties. A number of cognitive skills have been found as disordered in people who have autism and this differentiates them from their peers. Further, issues related to speech also arises in the same sphere but in this case, the patient can hear things (Turner, 2013). Instead of having hearing power, autistic patient cannot comprehend meanings of those sounds. Since, it is a communication disorder; therefore the major areas that suffers here is in the domain of language skills. They usually faces issues and problems in the below mentioned areas:
Most widely used theories (Zablotsky, 2015). of autism is “theory of mind” which defines mental status of the autistic person. As per the theory (Roberts and Simpson, 2016). mental state of an individual defines his ability to have a normal life. The theory also contends that mental well being is an attribute that indicates normal behavior of individual.
What might an inclusive school look like for autistic children
Inclusive school includes various models and practices that are designed for meeting the unique needs of the children that are suffering from autism. Instead of focus on treatment interventions that are developed to address isolated skill areas.
It has been observed that the hallmark feature of autism is impaired social interaction and children with autism may fail to respond to their names as well (Velott, Agbese, Mandell, Stein, Dick, Yu and Leslie, 2015). Moreover, they often ignore and avoid people and they do not even look at other people. Therefore, they have difficulty in interpreting the expressions and because of that, they do not respond to others. Similarly, they feel nothing even if they are ignored by others because they are unable to comprehend the impact of negative behavior. Most of the children with autism engage themselves in repetitive movements and sometimes they also harm themselves by doing biting and head banging. They also tend to start speaking later than other children because of their low learning ability. They depicts abnormal response to sounds, touch and other sensory stimulation (Vaidya, 2015). Many of the patients also shows reduced sensitivity to pain as they may be extraordinarily sensitive to other sensations. These unusual sensitivities contribute to behavioral symptoms such as Resistance to being cuddled. Autism can be diagnosed if any of the children do have absence of imaginative and social play. Further, the term Asperger syndrome is sometimes used to describe people with autistic behavior but then also they have well developed language skills (Schopler and Mesibov, 2013).
Besides this discussion, autism is caused in a minority of cases with disorders such as fragile X syndrome and this also disrupts the brain development (McCurdy, and Cole, 2014). Other studies also suggests that people who have autism have more abnormalities of serotonin or they have other other signaling molecules in the brain (Iadarola, 2015). Symptoms in many children with autism improve with intervention or as the children get matured. Some people with autism eventually lead normal or near to normal lives (Santarosa and Conforto, 2016). However, reports from parents of children with autism indicate that sometimes changes arise in children's language and this also enhances their regression in the early life stage (Clark, 2014). This regression seems to impact the brain of human being and as a consequence, changes appear in behavioral aspects. Hence, parents should be ready to adjust treatment for their child's changing needs (Gelbar, Smith and Reichow, 2014). Educational behavioral intervention are the chief ways through which issues related to Autism can be resolved (Rodríguez, Saldaña and Moreno, 2012). These strategies emphasize highly structured and often intensive skill oriented training that is prominently made for the individual child. Several therapies can also be given to the children who faces issues from autism. However, recent studies suggests that early diagnosis and treatment can improve the brain work of autistic person (Nahmias, Kase and Mandell, 2014).
Because autism is a development delay; therefore it affects mental and physical performance of children; thus the education of students with ASD must be taken into consideration. In order to manage autistic persons, teachers and professionals have been making several changes in inclusion courses where in alterations have been made in the coursework and training as per the needs of children (Keane, Aldridge, Costley and Clark, 2012). Hence, after analyzing the autistic nature of children, teachers and professors make transformations in school courses and educational profiles. This is almost a imperative challenge for schools as well because the overall curriculum changes and teachers are also required to make modifications in the classroom activities (Karanth and Chandhok, 2013). Further, Good Practice Guidance (Gray, 2014). aims to raise awareness for these children so that issues related to inclusion can be avoided. It is highly important to appreciate the range of educational options available in order to properly plan for autism spectrum. Inclusion is not about placing children with autism in mainstream school and ignoring difference by treating all pupils the same; however it is all about making appropriate provisions to meet autistic child's needs. This includes accessing a child's needs for diverse purposes and meeting it to the whole life (Clark, 2014). Every child who has issues related to autism has diverse strengths because it starts from diverse stages of life development.
In Autism, importance is given to visual teaching which aids in supporting autistic children, especially in primary schools. The main purpose of given visual teaching is that it helps in enhancing the communication skills within the pupils as well as attracts and hold the attention of students and also enables them to focus on message for reducing the anxiety (Engstrand and Roll‐Pettersson, 2014). Since the autistic children prefers visual communication rather than hearing they make use of different methods of communication that consist of pictures rather than words. It is highly promoted for Autistic children because it assist the children in developing literacy skills, cooking, and positive behavior so that they can carry out work effectively. (Parsons, 2015).
Apart from this, varied approaches have been used to promote social interaction within the autistic students such as modelling and video modelling. However, both these approaches are scientifically proven techniques for such kind of children which are being undertaken in primary schools. While on the other hand, inclusion or inclusive education can be defined as the training of students with extraordinary needs in standard training classes which is indeed considered as the leads restrictive education environment for autistic students (Locke, 2013).
Therefore, the concept of inclusion is not only related to involving autistic students in schools; but they should get same environment like others so that they can also develop themselves in the same manner. Thus, it is evident that inclusion is all about engaging autistic students instead of being separating them from the classrooms and other zones (Hansen, Schendel and Parner, 2015). The term integration or mainstream are contrary from inclusion as people assume that inclusion is all about involving autistic people regularly in work processes; but it more than engaging autistic people in these activities. Moreover, with the help of inclusion, students with special needs can be placed in the regular classrooms and they should be treated like family members so that they can respond positively in all the situations (Locke, 2013). Many teachers and parents believe in considering stern ethical beliefs regarding the rights of children with developmental disabilities and for that they expect them to be more educated in a typical learning environment with their peers (Clark, 2014). Students with autism will have the opportunity to interact with other students so that their social skills can be encouraged (Keane, Aldridge, Costley and Clark, 2012).
Despite of having impairment in social skills, autistic children are like other children who want to be around others and who all want to get benefits from developing suitable friendship with others. Thus, more involvement of autistic person enhances the opportunities of social development and this also develops adequate environment in the classroom (Hansen, Schendel and Parner, 2015). Many researchers have found out autistic disabilities are included in the classrooms in which other people emphasizes more on social interaction and they also try to give more social support to others (Gray, 2014). There has been positive social affects for including students with autism in the general classrooms because that might help the autistic people to get recovered soon. (Locke, 2013). Thus, with regards to positive outcomes, it can be said that autistic students should get equal opportunity to express their views on specific topic. Although, they are unable to express what they feel, still they should get encouragement to express their feelings through responding to all the aspects. In such respect, cooperative learning can be promoted where in all the activities should be organized as per the interest level of students (Watkins, Zimmermann and Poling, 2014).
Children with autism may also be unable to understand humor, irony and implied meaning. They also have restricted, repetitive and stereotype behavior wherein they conduct different activities and practices. The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder has been increasing currently at a higher rate in which every 110 children, one have this specific disorder (Walker, 2015). Earlier, this ratio of Autism was rare; however now this is the most common neurological disorder that affects children and that also changes the mental condition. This further leads to developmental disabilities and as a result, changes are arising in the percentage of this disorder. Inclusion is a complex practice that involves planning and including a child in diverse processes so that child's interest can be protected. Thus, from the viewpoints of many authors (Rodríguez, Saldaña and Moreno, 2012). It can be said that inclusion is a unified system of public education that incorporates all children and youngsters in social community processes (Volkmar and Reichow, 2013). It also ensures that high quality education is delivered to the autistic person through valuable and meaningful curriculum. This includes effective teaching and along with that students must support each other so that they can facilitate effective learning at the classroom.
The first and foremost benefit of inclusive classroom is that it gains social development because it allows the students to improve the ability in the area of social competence. It has been observed that when students are placed in restrictive setting, they tend to behave more positively with teachers rather than their peers; hence as a result, they develop adequate bonding with them (Inclusion of Students with Autism in General Education Classrooms. 2012). But on the other side, they fail to respond properly because they do not have comprehensive ability. Peer interaction is considered as vital for social development because it is important that the students with disabilities are given more opportunities to do participate in education setting (Gelbar, Smith and Reichow, 2014) The level of learning should be appropriate for the autistic person so that they can manage their behavioral aspects in diverse situations. Similarly, inclusion is considered as effective especially for autistic people because through that, social beliefs can be increased among the people regarding autism (Velott, Agbese, Mandell, Stein, Dick, Yu and Leslie, 2015). However, nowadays many schools and learning centers are providing training and education to the autistic persons so that they can also enhance their comprehensive ability.
In order to involve autistic people into social activities, the learning centers arrange diverse sources such as posters and play games because creative things attracts autistic children to learn more (Vaidya, 2015). At the same time, sign language can also be used for the same aspect in which autistic person's learning ability can be encouraged. It is an apparent fact that children with autism faces more issues in communicating things with others. They are unable to respond positively to others since they do not know what has to be done (Gray, 2014). Thus, in such respect, vital changes have been seen in the realm of curriculum development where in chief emphasis is given towards training the affected people through diverse coursework and syllabus. It is essential for the teachers to make the students more comfortable in the classrooms so that they can at least hear what is going on. Hence, training also makes the professionals feel less apprehensive when they have students with autism because this leads them to change the way of dealing with those special people (Turner, 2013).
Picture Exchange Communication System is one of the most prominent methods through which autistic people can be involved in all the processes. From many research studies, it has been observed that through pictures, images and graphs, autistic children learn more and through this, they can also pretend that things are highly comprehensive to them (Sullivan, 2013). One of the important things that is required for autistic personalities is that there should be proper communication with them so that they can also respond positively to other affairs. It is evident that supportive and non supportive both the training should be given to the autistic patients so that they can manage their life accordingly (Effective Strategies for the Inclusion of Children With Autism in General Education Classrooms, 2012). Although, learning seems to be difficult for autism patients because they are unable to relate things with each other and this also impacts them in diverse aspects. One of the major benefit of using reciprocal initiation training is that it increases imitation skills of the learners and as a result, they tend to behave like normal. Patients that lie under this category are physically and mentally fit; however most of the time, they are not treated positively because people consider them mentally retarded (Effective Inclusion of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. 2012).
Further, most of the changes have been seen in the area of visual schedules and structured routines where in one should keep daily schedule as similar as possible because a heavy dependency on familiarity (Effective educational inclusion of students on the autism spectrum, 2010). Additionally, requiring strict routines, children with autism are also reliant on visual cues since that enhances their learning ability. The views of Dunlap (2012) states that visual schedule allows students to observe both the activities that would be taking place that day as per the order of events. Hence, it can be said that this intervention provides individual an opportunity to learn more from visual and picture representation (Smith, Polloway, Patton, Dowdy and Doughty, 2015). These interventions can be adjusted in classrooms because such strategies benefit children without disabilities. Thus, it can be said that social interaction and behavioral intervention both are essential for autistic children as that helps them to conduct all the related activities in proper way (Segall and Campbell, 2012).
Most of the parents of autistic children simply wonder which approach they should take into account while managing their children. Thus, answering such question, it can be said that intervention must be tailored to meet the unique requirements of the child and approaches should be selected directly (Schuller, 2013). Some other approaches can also be applied that addresses fundamental and important elements. Apart from this, all such approaches changes behavioral facets of autistic children; however other emphasizes on building prominent relationships and remaining focuses on working on academic skills. From many research (Gray, 2014) studies, it is articulated that specific therapies like speech and occupational therapies are delivered to the autistic children so that they can communicate with others in proper manner. Similarly, social consequences highly impacts the mindset of children and as a result, they react negatively in all the situations (Schopler and Mesibov, 2013). Thus, whatever intervention strategies chosen, families and therapist should always work towards the best interest of the child (Santarosa and Conforto, 2016).
Bullying and social support are the two major issues that are associated with the support for autism pupils. It has been observed that pupil face issues related to abuse of power and due to impaired social skills, autistic people faces issues in communicating things as well. Students of autism are at an increased risk of bullying. Autistic pupil experiences various issues of bullying and abuse and since they do not report such issues to parents; therefore the situation leads them to face more difficulties in life. Further, normal students make fun of them because they know autistic patients will not be able to comprehend that they are targets for bullying and social abuse (Roberts and Simpson, 2016).
Government and non government organizations have taken several initiatives to provide support to autistic people at both national and international levels. Autism Speaks has been working in this area which delivers assistance to autism pupils and they also work with The National Autism Association (Karanth and Chandhok, 2013) It has been identified that autistic children do not faces any issues related to cognitive challenge; thus they should be provided with the same learning conditions as compared to non special children. However, on the other hand, inclusive education seems to be a biggest challenge for teachers and autistic people both; thus to overcome such issue, specific training should be delivered in effectual manner.
Most often, the individual attention and smaller number of classmates characteristics of a special education program creates a very effective learning environment for children with special needs. Special attention is being provided to all the children who are under the category of autism and who are highly prone to specific disorder (Reeves, Umbreit, Ferro and Liaupsin, 2013). In the case of autism, most of the prominent role is played by family members and peers who stay directly with the autistic people. Moreover, as per the present case, autism is one such disorder that changes the life scenario of children; however even though changes do not arise in their professional way of working (Parsons, 2015).
Autism is different from a disease as it is highly related to specific disorder where in brain of a child works slowly as per the age. Here in this disease, it is also crucial for the society to organize numerous events and campaigns so that they people can treat special people in adequate manner (The Pros and Cons of Inclusion for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2011). In such respect, children are acquiring greater benefit from having positive relationship with their teachers since this provides them with the motivation to succeed in their school work and a sense of of belonging in the classroom community (Nahmias, Kase and Mandell, 2014). It is vital for the teachers to comprehend the relationship of teacher and student because that affects inclusion of a student with autism in the classroom. One of the goals of inclusion is to facilitate a positive incineration among typically developing students with autism. On the other hand, if students are considered to have a conflicted and dependent relationship with their teacher, then they tend to have a lower level of social inclusion in their class and this has been rated by the peers (McLeskey, Rosenberg and Westling, 2012).
Since, Autism is one of the most common disorders discovered within the first three years of life; therefore proper prevention is ought to be given to the children facing issues related to autism. In the present context many students are prevailing from this disorder. The disease puts a high impact on the social environment of the people (McCurdy and Cole, 2014). The sufferers are faced with many social difficulties which restricts them from leading a graceful life. One of the most difficult problem faced by these kind of people is good education. Education plays an important part in the social development of individuals. Students with this kind of disorder are often placed in segregated schools (Locke, 2013). The issue with these kind of institutions is that they contain only students with disabilities. If autism individuals are placed at these places, then these schools must be the center of excellence (Keane, Aldridge, Costley and Clark, 2012). They should pioneer new ways of working with autism victims and focus must be paid on how these kind of cases can be dealt with. Hence these should be placed in segregated schools when the case is quite severe.
Further there is a need to include autism victims because education can be considered as an effective treatment for their disorder. Their learning can be enhanced through high quality teaching. At these places generally the students are taught about the values, knowledge and skills which encourage their participation in the community (Karanth and Chandhok, 2013). Further they also learn from their peers. There are many advantages such as higher levels of engagement and social interaction. A very high level of social support is gained which contribute in their personal as well as professional development. Therefore they are able to be involved in a community of more positive role models. Receiving good education will help them in becoming an active member of the society. Further with autism victims issues such as inequality and disparity have been noticed (Iadarola, 2015).
The teacher-child relationship can be an important factor in including the students with ASD (McCurdy and Cole, 2014). The teachers are required to work hard in order to form crucial relationship with the students with this disease. These individuals generally have deficits in the areas of social and emotional understanding. It becomes difficult for them to form good relations with the peers and teachers (Hansen, Schendel and Parner, 2015). The teacher-pupil relationship is considered as a living system through which positive emotional experiences, concrete help, information and support can be organized and transmitted (Locke, 2013) When positive relations are formed, the autism students become more comfortable within the classrooms. Lack of these things may result in frustration for the individuals because of the fact that they are not able to understand the fact how the things may be perceived (Gray, 2014). A very welcomed and comfortable environment is required to be created for the people with ASD.
Hence, after analyzing the autistic nature of children, teachers and professors make transformations in school courses and educational profiles. Therefore, the concept of inclusion is not only related to involving autistic students in schools; but they should get same environment like others so that they can also develop themselves in the same manner (Gelbar, Smith and Reichow, 2014). Students with autism will have the opportunity to interact with other students so that their social skills can be encouraged. This is a general belief that students who are not popular in the classrooms are most likely the students with autism who do not take part in classrooms day to day activities (Reeves, Umbreit, Ferro and Liaupsin, 2013). Only typical students observe this positive relationship, they will be more willing to accept students with autism as a part of their class community (Engstrand and Roll‐Pettersson, 2014). Hence, this will also assist that teachers as well as students to promote adequate curriculum for autism teaching. The terms and conditions that are related to the education and treatment of individuals who faces issues related to autism has undergone extreme changes (Crosland and Dunlap, 2012). This has been observed that autistic people tend to learn faster because they are more focused towards advanced learning; hence it is suggested to the learners to emphasize on adequate learning especially in the case of autism (Clark, 2014). Children who faces issues related to autism are more creative and innovative and they are also different because they help themselves to see things differently that happens around them (Abu-Hamour and Muhaidat, 2014). From the above study, it is concluded that the main areas of difficulty that autistic people face are in social communication, social interaction and repetitive behaviors and interests. People on the autism spectrum may also have unusual sensory interests such as sniffing objects and in this they also stare on things for continuous time period (Inclusion of Students with Autism in General Education Classrooms, 2012).
The role of inclusive school can be greatly viewed towards increasing the engagement of the students. Further it assists in offering academic support to every student in accessing the curriculum. Further it assists in creating positive environment for learning.
Although, the principle of least restrictive environment mandates that students with disabilities should have the opportunity to be educated with non disabled peers to the greatest extent possible, some children are more successful when they are taught exclusively in a self contained classroom (Santarosa and Conforto, 2016). The current trend has been shifting more and more towards inclusion; therefore this leads various changes in special education program (Sansosti and Sansosti, 2012). Teachers as well as learning centers have been changing the ways of guiding autistic people because they believe more in involving autistic people in social and other activities. It has been analyzed that autistic people are highly involved in physical and mental activities because according to their view, physical activities are more feasible in improving all the issues among the patients (Sanderson, Sparkes and Murray, 2013). Some of the social values and beliefs do not allow the family members to keep autistic children at home; however such people should know that autistic children are not harmful for others (Rodríguez, Saldaña and Moreno, 2012).
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