Did you know that autism diagnoses have been on the rise in the last few decades? Several years ago, the disorder was found in a smaller percentage of the population, but now, about 1 in 50 children in the U.S. have a form of autism.
Autism is spectrum disorder that involves a number of sensory, neurodevelopmental problems, in which verbal communication can sometimes be severely impaired. This makes schooling difficult for many children, and they often enter special education programs, attend schools for children with autism, and enroll in inclusion classroom to get the best education possible.
Here some resources for children with autism that can be helpful.
- Assistive Technology. Whether they are at home or at a special needs school, autistic children often benefit from assistive technology. These devices can often become a voice for children who are non-verbal — students can type out their answers to questions, or ask questions using particular programs. This helps children feel confident in their ability to communicate.
- Aide. In special needs schools and inclusion programs, there are often aides and paraprofessionals who come in to help students throughout the day. These aides can help prep a student with transitions from one subject to another, and remain with the child throughout the day for assistance. They can be especially helpful in keeping a student calm during an emotional outburst or difficulty handling a social situation.
- PT and OT. Considered “pull-out” services, physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) are often offered to students with autism. Students are taken to a designated space or room where they can work on different physical activities that help sooth their sensory needs. This can be critical to keeping their nerves calm, and staying relaxed throughout the day.
There are many resources for children with autism that have proven effective in schools, and also at home. With the help of these services and technologies, autistic children can have the right supports to feel successful in an academic setting.