Classroom Accommodations for Austistic Students


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to a parent who voiced her frustration with her daughter’s school. Although her daughter is diagnosed with autism, she falls on the mild range of the spectrum meaning her deficits are ignored. This becomes challenging for a teacher who may not recognize the signs and symptoms of an autistic child.

Girls, in particular, often develop the ability to disappear in a large group. Imagine the amount of energy it takes to pretend you hold the same characteristics of others.  This leads to both depression and anxiety in children with autism. There are also sensory challenges a student with autism may face including auditory, visual and tactile.

Reading non-verbal cues forces a child and even some autistic adults to work harder everyday which causes exhaustion and can possibly lead to anxiety.

There are a number of ways to accommodate  a student with autism. If you are a teacher, read as much information as you can on autism. each child is different so it will help to get feedback from parents who can help provide the right accommodations.

The following articles provide great information on both modifications and accommodations  which can be put into the child’s IEP:

10 tips for making middle-school work for kids with autism

14 possible IEP accommodations for children with autism/ADHD

20 classroom modifications for students with autism

23 classroom accommodation suggestions for kids with autism and Asperger’s syndrome

Accommodations and supports for school-age students with autism

Asperger syndrome/HFA and the classroom

Common modifications and accommodations

IEP considerations for students with autism spectrum disorder

Recommendations for students with high-functioning autism

Supporting learning in the student with autism

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Decoding The Overlap Between Autism and ADHD

Written by: Ricki Rusting

Published By: Spectrum

Every morning, Avigael Wodinsky sets a timer to keep her 12-year-old son, Naftali, on track while he gets dressed for school. “Otherwise,” she says, “he’ll find 57 other things to do on the way to the bathroom.”
Wodinsky says she knew something was different about Naftali from the time he was born, long before his autism diagnosis at 15 months. He lagged behind his twin sister in hitting developmental milestones, and he seemed distant. “When he was an infant and he was feeding, he wouldn’t cry if you took the bottle away from him,” she says. He often sat facing the corner, turning the pages of a picture book over and over again. Although he has above-average intelligence, he did not speak much until he was 4, and even then his speech was often ‘scripted:’ He would repeat phrases and sentences he had heard on television. Read the rest of the story here

Why Are Public Toilets A Challenge For Children and Young People With Autism?

Sign, Bathroom, Restroom, Symbol, Icon
Written By: Natasha Bolger
Published By: Bladder and Bowel UK

Problems with imagination may lead to a lack of ability to know what is going on or what will come next, resulting in inflexibility, difficulty changing routines, fears and anxieties, as well as an inability to transfer a skill learned in one place to another. Therefore, the child may be able to use the toilet at home or at school, but does not understand that they can or should do this in different toilets.

These problems may on their own make public toilets a difficult place for children and young people with autism to be. However, if there are sensory differences, particularly hypersensitivities, which is an increased awareness of different sensory inputs, these may make public toilets a particularly difficult or frightening place to be. It needs to be remembered that sensory problems can make things that most of us do not even notice intrusive or even painful for some people with autism. Read the rest of the story here.

Special Needs Article Resources

The following are helpful articles on a variety of topics from children with disabilities to adults with physical disabilities.


Submitted by: Jennifer McGregor

Explaining special needs to your child: 15 great children’s books– This article provides information on books to help promote understanding and tolerance of children with disabilities. Books include topics on ADHD, autism, visual and physical disabilities and invisible disabilities such as anxieties.

How to Remodel for Accessibility– Includes steps to remodeling your home for wheelchair accessibility

Developing Your Blind Child’s Sleep Schedule– Although this article focuses on the sleep pattern of children who are visually impaired, it is also helpful for children with autism who display an irregular sleeping pattern.

How to Exercise if You Have Limited Mobility– An article that focuses on fitness tips for people with physical disabilities including the three different types of exercises.

How To Decode Teacher Comments For Signs

Parent teacher conference

Written by: Amanda Morin

Published by: Understood

Have you ever gone to a parent-teacher conference and felt like the teacher’s comments meant something more than what she actually said? Or that she was vague about a concern she has? Sometimes a teacher isn’t as direct as she could be—or would like to be.

There are many possible reasons for that. She might be bound by official (or unofficial) school policies that limit what she can say to parents. She might not know much about how special education works and may worry she’s going to give incorrect advice. Or she might be uncomfortable saying something negative about your child. Read the rest of the story here.

Stress Is An Added Dimension For Those With Disabilities

Stress Is an Added Dimension for Those with Disabilities
Written by: Jessica Grono
Published by: Cerebral Palsy News Today

A common question many people ask of us who have disabilities is, “How do you do it every day?” Or, my favorite comment, “I don’t know how you do it! I couldn’t handle doing what you go through.” My initial reaction is to feel a bit offended and annoyed because, really, what choice do I have? I am just living my life as anyone would and making the best of it. But I forget to ask myself if I am living my life as anyone else would. Read the rest of the story here.

25 Must-Read Resources for Siblings of Children and Adults With Disabilities

This is an article that I have wanted to write for a long time as it is personal to me. I watch my youngest nephew growing up with the responsibility of caring for his older brother with a disability. From helping him get dressed in the morning to looking out for him while in school. As my nephew without disabilities grew, he would ask me why his brother was treated so special by others around him which is a difficult question to answer. Now an adult with a family of his own, he still is protective of his brother and continues to love him and look out for him.

Children who have siblings with disabilities often carry an added weight. They are protective of their siblings and from this added experience, it has taught them to be compassionate towards others. the following resources are useful for siblings, parents and providers looking for information to help families with disabilities.  Please email me at specialneedsresourceblog@gmail.com if you have additional information that you would like to share.

Sibling Organizations and Support Groups

Sibling LeadershipThe mission of the Sibling Leadership Network is to provide siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and to promote the issues important to them

Siblings of Autism-Siblings of Autism is dedicated to supporting the siblings of individuals on the autism spectrum through educational scholarships, respite funds and outreach programs.

The Sibling Support Project– National program dedicated to the life-long and ever-changing concerns of brother and sisters of people with special health, developmental, and mental health concerns

Sibling Resources– A growing network of adult siblings of people with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities. Provides up-to-date information, resources and training opportunities.

Sibling  Support Resources

I Am A Sibling- The ARC

Sibling Support- Family Drug Help

There with Care

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook Group

Sibling of Children with Disabilities

Instagram

Special_Needs_Siblings

Siblings of Autistic Kids

Sibling of Special Needs

Twitter

Sibs

Special Needs Siblings

Article Links

5 ways to support siblings in special needs families (Child Mind Institute)

8 things siblings of children with special needs struggle with (Washington Post)

10 great books if you have a sibling with special needs (Friendship Circle)

12 ways to support siblings (Brooks Publishing Company)

Caring for siblings of children with special needs (Kids Health)

Dear sibling to a child with special needs (The Mighty)

Emotional problems facing siblings of children with disabilities (Psychiatry Advisor)

Having an autistic sibling (National Autistic Society)

Helping siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (Raising Children)

Siblings and Cerebral Palsy (Cerebral Palsy Guidance)

Sibling Issues (Center for Parent Information and Resources)

Sibling of children with disabilities (Psychology Today)

Supporting siblings of children with disabilities in the school setting (ERIC.ed)

Ways a child care providers can support siblings of children with special needs (Extension)

Technology Has Opened Doors For Those With Disabilities

Technology Has Opened Doors for Those with Disabilities
Written by: Jessica Grono
Published By: Cerebral Palsy News Today

No matter what type of cerebral palsy a person has, it limits their independence to a certain extent. Independence is amazing, especially when you have such a limited range of freedom. Technology has improved the quality life of thousands of people who have significant disabilities. I know that each time I can do an action for myself, the feeling is indescribable. This week online, I learned of two children who have experienced the unexpected, thanks to advances in technology. Click here to read the rest of the story

Epilepsy Seizures May Promote Autism Symptoms in Angleman Syndrome, Study Finds

Epilepsy Seizures May Promote Autism Symptoms in Angelman Syndrome, Study Finds
Written by: Patricia Inacio. Ph.d
Published by: Angelman Syndrome News

Epileptic seizures contribute more than previously thought to autism symptoms in patients with Angelman syndrome, according to researchers.

The study, “Effect of epilepsy on autism symptoms in Angelman syndrome,” was published in the journal Molecular Autism. Autism and epilepsy often co-occur in patients with Angelman syndrome, but the extent to which the association between autism symptoms and epilepsy is due to shared aetiology or to the direct effects of seizures was unclear. Click here to the rest of the story.

Smithsonian Exhibit Puts Focus On Accessible Design

Publisher: Disability Scoop
Written by: Shaun Heasley

From clothing to utensils and computers, a new exhibit is showcasing the varied and increasing ways that today’s world is adapting to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities.

The display at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum dubbed “Access+Ability” includes over 70 works that highlight how design is making a broad range of experiences more inclusive.

Divided into three sections — moving, connecting and living — the exhibit features the latest in cane technology, clothing with magnets and other accessibility modifications, eye-controlled speech-generating devices and more innovations.

Click here for the rest of the story