Finding Strategies to Help Students with Autism and Related Difficulties on the Autism Spectrum Learn More
Autistic children may learn to cope with everyday tasks but cannot readily read or complete math tasks. Those dealing with ADD and ADHD lack the concentration to sit through a long math lesson with clarity. Students on the spectrum with special needs, who must, oftentimes, focus on auditory, visual, and tactile concepts, fail to retain information or confuse meaning. As a result, they fail in the classroom.
Fortunately, some strategies can overcome these difficulties and decrease the risk of failing in the classroom. Let’s dive into these strategies.
1. Exposing Students to the Course Texts Multiple times.
Students who have learning disabilities or struggling grades often don’t have the ability to read the course text in detail. Though, it may take their teachers a week or two to read the entire text word for word. In this case, the best solution is to demonstrate the text many times and then try to repeat it in their heads. If possible, teachers can review the text several times in class before the student attempts the comprehension portion of the course.
2. Encouraging Students to Make Entries Based on the Exam Questions.
Perhaps a student is hesitant about appearing pre-prepared or may not understand that questions are posted online for students to see. But, most educators don’t want to punish the student for not preparing appropriately for the exams. Encourage them to make entries, however, based on questions specific to the exam. In some scenarios, students may be forced to make their answer if unable to complete the course material. That’s why it’s recommended that students write, as opposed to type, their answers.
3. Creating Promotional Services, Workshops, or Documentary Projects for Students.
Many students don’t have support in the form of an aide or an individualized education plan (IEP). According to Dr. Simon Herman, Head of Region, Special Education, Evergreen School District, the student’s needs must be met within school boundaries. That could mean that the student is allowed to attend class alone. It is often suggested that such students be provided with supplementary educational services in the form of instructional planning, art therapy, or professional assistance to encourage the child to keep up with the average student. If, however, the student doesn’t have such services available within the school district, it is critical that students are provided with the opportunity to create additional and “moderate” supports in the form of professional services.
4. Identifying and Referring the Struggling Student.
In order to combat the phenomenon of the student with a learning disability or those with ADD/ADHD who fail and fail, teachers and educational practitioners are challenged to identify the students. A student’s teacher will typically report the student as doing poorly in class. From there, a teacher may screen the student and request an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for further support. However, the student will likely become disruptive during the evaluation process. Children who have a learning disability may become easily frustrated, anxious, or scared. Parents should enlist the help of an educator, psychologist, or occupational therapist in order to engage the student’s assistance in the evaluation process. That said, to make matters worse, students are sometimes dismissed as truant when they appear to be inactive in class.
5. Keeping an Eye on the Teaching Assistant.
The final strategy lies in the eyes of the teacher. Observe their behavior and look out for non-verbal cues. If a student is wearing headphones, he/she may not be able to hear what the teacher is saying. Observe whether or not the students’ writing activities follow the passage as it is published. Many students fail when they grasp something, but mispronounce or misspeak it. Many of these students do poorly on essay tests. The fact that the student appears to have mental and physical fatigue is a cause for concern. Additionally, when students appear to have difficulty reading the instruction booklet, the teacher should think about what classes they will attend next week. If a student is assigned to mathematics, he/she should not be offered algebra or geometry. Are they missing the document entirely? At this point, an IEP may be suggested.