Innovative Ways of Reaching Children With Autism

By: Giulia Frasca, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP

There are an estimated two million people with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the United States.  Over 500,000 of those diagnosed are children.  The incidence rate of Autism increased to one in 68 children.  There is a five-to-one prevalence of Autism in boys over girls so that the incidence rate of Autism for boys is one in every 54 boys.  E ach child diagnosed with Autism and each case of Autism is unique such that there is not one particular treatment, program, or methodology that will work for all children diagnosed with Autism.  Recently, an article published in the New York Times titled “Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney” by Ron Suskind discussed how watching Disney movies and relating to the characters in those movies helped one child diagnosed with Autism break through and communicate verbally, in writing and through art with other members of his family.

Today, school districts use several different, innovative methodologies for teaching children with Autism.  Most schools teach children with Autism using Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), which has been proven to work for children with the most severe cases of Autism.  ABA focuses on changing the environment around the child in order to help the child achieve a task rather than simply telling the child what to do.  ABA aims to build a direct relationship between desirable outcomes and the environment the child is in.

Another methodology called Naturalistic Teaching Strategies involves creating an environment in which children are motivated to communicate a specific need or want by, for example, placing a favorite toy on a shelf, out of reach so that the child will be motivated to ask for it.  Children with more advanced language skills will be prompted to ask a question or speak a full sentence.

Yet another, newer methodology, Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support (SCERTS) combines several different treatments and identifies and builds on a student’s strengths, then creates strategies to improve the student’s weaknesses.

Autism Spectrum Disorder teaching methodologies are constantly evolving in order to address the broad spectrum of needs and the different ways in which children develop.  Littman Krooks LLP’s special education attorneys strive to keep abreast of new developments in these areas in order to be the strongest advocates for families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The seventh annual World Autism Awareness Day is Tuesday, April 2, 2014. Learn more about events in your area by visiting the Autism Speaks website or visit our blog at: http://www.littmankrooks.com/blog/ Was this article of interest to you? If so, please LIKE our Facebook Page by clicking here.

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