Learning Disabilities - Autism Spectrum Disorder
There may be many people, students at this moment, who are suffering from learning disabilities. Most of those students will never be diagnosed as special, or disabled. This may be due to the lack of training of the teachers, but it may also have other causes.
Due to the fact that autism has received a lot of attention in the recent years, cases are investigated more often and a lot of research is being done on autism and its consequences. This has one positive effect on students that are suffering from autism, their problem does not pass unnoticed any longer. And the consequences therefore, learning disabilities due to autism, are being treated more often.
When children with autism have a learning disability, that does not mean they cannot learn how to read and write or how to do math. It means they will need a lot more time, maybe even two years, to process the same amount of information that a normal student will process in say one year.
Children with autism also need more time to process the normal everyday occurrences. That is why they are helped by extreme regularity. The more regulated and planned their life is, the more they can make sense of what is going on around them. The attacks of extreme rage will get less and the ability to learn new things will increase.
Parents therefore are urged to plan the daily schedule of their child very strictly. Schools however, are often not equipped for this system of strict planning. The other students in the classroom do not need a schedule that is this strict, so in turn they will rebel against the many rules and regulations.
Putting children with learning disabilities in special classes may help, even special schools for slower children are worth a try. But to take a child out of the system and put it, together with other ‘backward’ children in a new school, will increase the danger of bullying by the other children in their street or school.
We must try to find a way to convince the students in a class that the one, or maybe two, children with autism need a special learning plan, but that they are not strange. They just need more time, more regulations and more rest than others do.
The regulated life children with autism must lead may even help some of the other students. The teacher will spend a little more time with the autistic students, and the others will be able to use that time to study the class subject on their own, or better still, listen in to the special lessons given to their classmates.
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