+ Strategies & Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

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From Sue Hardesty, at Columbus Public Schools:

Attention, Organization: Executive Function

  • use proximity to & prompting from the teacher
  • structure work periods
  • use visuals
  • structure the environment
  • teach students to monitor their own attention
  • utilize technology
  • provide systematic supports for organizational help
  • support organization with rubrics, study guides & outlines
  • structure time during day for organizing assignments & materials

Improving Abstract Reasoning

  • break down lesson goal into parts; provide supports
  • provide explicit instruction for understanding of concept
  • move from specifics to generalizations
  • give alternative ways to show understanding, so students can utilize their strengths

Social Interactions

  • teach students how to read/react to nonverbal social cues
  • utilize strengths & interests in cooperative learning
  • protect students from bullying
  • teach students how to participate in conversations
  • teach students how to identify/understand emotion

Provide Predictability

  • provide clear physical structure in the classroom
  • provide clear rules & consequences
  • prepare for changes & transitions
  • provide structure for unstructured time
  • provide instruction about the hidden curriculum (unspoken expectations)

Problems with language

  • avoid/explain use of sarcasm & jokes with double meanings
  • avoid/carefully explain ambiguous language (idioms, metaphors, figures of speech)
  • teach how to find key words & concepts in directions and instructions

Anxiety, Depression & Emotional Regulation

  • identify signs of stress/overstimulation early — intervene immediately
  • proactively minimize situations that will cause emotional problems
  • allow & encourage student to use self-calming techniques to regain emotional control

Motor Issues Including Writing

  • provide tools that allow for improvement of writing
  • allow/encourage use of technology as an alternative to handwriting
  • provide alternatives to allow easier writing / to circumvent writing (oral responses, note-takers, recording devices, keyboard)

Very Focused Areas of Interest & Expertise?

  • help student develop this interest; relate it to future employment
  • use this area of interest as a bridge to other topics
  • use this area as a way to facilitate social interaction
  • provide a specific time of day for focus on this area of interest
  • use this area of interest to help regulate behavior

source: materials provided by Sue Hardesty, Director of  Special Education at Columbus OH Public Schools.  Her presentation happened at a Barnes & Noble bookstore; check your local bookstores for useful events — or request them!

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021  or email  aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

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