ERIC Number: ED406794
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Pitfalls in Educational Programming for Autistic Children in the United States of America.
Muskat, Lori R.; Redefer, Laurel A.
This paper addresses the dilemma faced by the requirement that educators provide appropriate and effective education for higher functioning students with autism, while lacking the necessary knowledge to provide such interventions. The first section discusses the diagnosis of autism (especially noting the presence of a "triad" of deficits including impaired social relatedness, impaired language, and restricted range of activities/interests that allow an "autistic spectrum" diagnosis.) The discussion notes the common presence of mental retardation in the diagnosis of autism and the inclusion of autism within the broader term, "pervasive developmental disorders." However, the emphasis of this paper is on higher functioning students with either Asperger's Syndrome or Pervasive Developmental Delay conditions that are more difficult conditions to describe adequately since there is not yet any established definition or diagnostic criteria for high-functioning autism. The next section looks at special education in the United States under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It suggests that the classification of autistic spectrum disorder as defined by IDEA is useful, since the "triad" of weaknesses diagnostic of the autistic condition provides important functional information. A section on educational interventions and considerations stresses the importance of providing children diagnosed as autistic spectrum students with structure, visual aids, intervention in language pragmatics and social skills, recognition of fixations and special talents, and medication. Two cases illustrate these principles. Recommendations for educating higher functioning autistic spectrum students focus on providing school personnel with the information they need to educate these students both at the preservice and inservice levels. Appended are the test data summary sheets. (Contains 36 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Asperger Syndrome, Autism, Classification, Clinical Diagnosis, Definitions, Developmental Delays, Educational Needs, Elementary Secondary Education, Inservice Teacher Education, Intervention, Mainstreaming, Mild Disabilities, Student Characteristics, Student Needs, Symptoms (Individual Disorders), Teacher Education, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act