ERIC Number: EJ894644
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Invisible Disorder, Visible Effect
MacDonald, Michael A.
Principal Leadership, v10 n5 p42-45 Jan 2010
Students who fall along the autism spectrum face many struggles in life and in school, and they can pose many challenges for the school districts that are attempting to provide an appropriate education for each student. Because these students have a range of needs as wide as the spectrum itself, it is easy to understand the difficulty of developing an appropriate, customized program. Many people believe that students who have the most severe disorders on the spectrum are the most difficult to establish appropriate programs for. This is not necessarily true. The bigger challenge is to provide an appropriate program for the student with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. This student has the academic ability to do as well or better than the majority of his or her classmates. Such students shouldn't be receiving special education services on the basis of their physical appearance and academic scores, but there is a great need for services on the basis of their actual disabilities, which typically include a high level of anxiety about academics, socialization, and various other issues that are specific to each student. To help students with high-functioning autism succeed at high levels, schools should reduce their anxiety. This article offers some assistive techniques and materials that have been successful in reducing anxiety levels and discusses some accommodations and differentiation techniques to consider when creating a program for an individual with a high-functioning autism spectrum disorder.
Descriptors: Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Anxiety, Academic Accommodations (Disabilities), Writing Instruction, Socialization, Peer Relationship, Physical Education, Individualized Instruction, Special Needs Students
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site: http://www.principals.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A