Social interaction in children with autism

Jessica Cavaiani
EDPS 250- Section 4
Developmental Research
Academic programs for students with autism
Researchers have found that abnormal brain functioning causes autism. This is usually due to
genetic or prenatal environmental factors. Children with autism have larger-than-average brains;
the amygdala grows abnormally in childhood and is believed to contribute to defects in emotion
processing and social interaction (Berk, 2012). As early as the child’s second ear of age, the
child begins to show emotional and social deficits. Compared to other children, they do not
establish eye contact and have a difficult time determining facial expressions, and rarely engage
in social referencing (2012). Children with autism may also be overly sensitive to touch, sound
and maybe even smell. Aggressive behavior is not a characteristic of autism but some children
do demonstrate aggressive behavior towards themselves or others. In order for students
diagnosed with autism to succeed, schools need to provide assessments to determine an effective
program to benefit the student. These students’ participated in interventions to determine what
each student needs, this is based on five basic pivotal skills. Some of which include paying
attention to the information in their environment or to imitate others. Research has shown that
when the environment was predictable, children with autism were more socially responsive and
attentive. It is important for teachers to put themselves in the shoes of autistic children and make
sure that the child understands the specifics, for autistic children do not generalize information
(Jamieson, 2004). Creating these programs for students with autism will benefit them in the long
run. It will also account for a smoother year if these assessments are done appropriately.
Instructional Decision
My instructional decisions, as a special education teacher is to provide a positive learning
environment by focusing on small groups to evoke peer interaction. As a teacher I will make sure
to provide students with group work to interact with their peers. This will allow the student to
children will construct knowledge of social interaction and learn basic communication skills to
help them in every day interaction (AG 5.1). I would also like to do a lot of hands on activities
for students with autism, and include as many visuals as I can provide. I think that this would be
beneficial and break down the information a little further, that way they can process the
information a little easier.
Social interaction in children with autism
Every child that is diagnosed with autism is unique. Not all have problems with social interaction
even. Impairment in social behavior is a key element to autism. Clinicians who work with
children with autism focus on the functional properties of social interactions, and it is important
to understand these roles (Call, Shillingsburg, Bowen, Reavis, Findley, 2013). Social interactions
that are related to positive reinforcement have an advantage over potential reinforcers that are
used in interventions simply because these reinforcers are more natural and economical. Social
interaction is consumed without even slowing the ace of instruction. The delivery of certain
individuals could punish instead reinforce the responses targeted for interventions if the social
interaction does not function as reinforcers (Call, Shillingsburg, Bowen, Reavis, Findley, 2013).
By becoming a special education teacher, I will ensure that my students will be reinforced for
positive behaviors. Whether the reinforcement is candy or a verbal reinforcement, students will
then be encouraged to keep doing these behaviors because it made them happy or feel good for
accomplishing something.
Instructional Decision
Parenting a child with autism can have a lot of challenges but can be very rewarding in the end.
Typical development involves a child to be healthy and social and this is dependent on the way a
parent interacts with their child (AG 1.3). If a parent is neglectful and abusive then that child will
grow up and be more vulnerable to crime, depression, and be more avoidant towards others. If a
parent interacts with their child, shows commitment and has a positive attitude towards them
then the child will grow up to be happy and interactive with other peers. Parenting is critical in a
child development and needs to be done correctly to avoid future complications.
Parenting styles for children with autism
Mothers who are raising a child with autism may feel the need to be more responsible towards
caring and educating their child while the father on the other hand might not be so accepting
toward the child’s disability. Mothers of children with autism were more likely to a stay at home
mom and take care of the child rather than having a full time job (Gau, M. Chou, Lee, Wong, W.
Chou, Chen, Wu, 2010). There have been a limited amount of studies done on parenting styles of
children with autism. However, in contrast to similar parenting styles of children with Down
syndrome, studies have shown that these children were less affectionate, more protective and
more controlling parenting in children with autism than Down syndrome (Gau, M. Chou, Lee,
Wong, W. Chou, Chen, Wu, 2010). It was also found that parents of children with autism
showed less interaction, involvement and contact. Fathers also exhibited less affectionate
behaviors towards their children than the mothers. Children with autism need that extra care and
needs, if both parents take that extra step, their child will develop more appropriately verses a
child’s parents who are less affectionate and involved. Parenting is critical to the child’s
development, it may be stressful for a while but in the end it’s worth going the extra mile.
Instructional Decision
Students with autism require a little more attention that the average student. Providing students
with technology like iPads and computers is beneficial to these students because it can make like
in the classroom easier (AG 2.11). Providing students with technology also allows for easy
access to notes, homework and applications where students can find it all in one place instead of
searching for notes, etc. in a few different places.
Technology in the classroom
Technology has advanced in many different ways that allow information to be available at our
fingertips. In this era of iPads, educators have access to engaging form of communication.
Educators today seem to be focusing on the use of technology and it has been found that iPads in
the classroom encourages the use of apps that are educationally appropriate for different learning
objectives (Peluso, 2012). Not every teacher, unfortunately, has the opportunity to use iPads or
other forms of technology. The acceptance that America has given towards technology in
educational settings have led to creative ways where students are engaging themselves even
more within the classroom (Peluso, 2012). Using iPads is a huge advance in classrooms,
textbooks, notes, and audios of lectures can all be provided on iPads. This can help student’s
organization skills as well as improve grades because all the information is at their fingertips.
I will work to make sure that my students are in a positive learning environment that allows them
to feel comfortable in and out of the classroom. I need to create this environment by putting
myself in the child’s shoes and asking myself how they would feel in certain situations or how
they would react to certain activities. I will also learn to develop close relationships with my
students, as someone they can come talk to and be open with. I will also try and obtain access to
technology such as iPads to help improve student engagement and grades. To be able to
accomplish this I will attend SCEC meetings more often to learn how to create a happy, healthy
environment in the school.
Works Cited
Berk, L. (2012). Infants, children, and adolescents. (7th ed., p. 342.). Boston, Massachusetts:
Pearson Education Inc.
Call, N. A., Shillingsburg, M. A., Bowen, C. N., Reavis, A. R. and Findley, A. J. (2013), Direct
assessment of preferences for social interactions in children with autism. Jnl of Applied
Behavior Analysis, 46: 821–826. doi: 10.1002/jaba.69
Gau, S., Chou, M., Lee. J.Wong, C., Chou, W. Chen, M., &…Wu, Y. (2010). Behavioral
problems and parenting style among Taiwanese children with autism and their siblings.
Psychiatry And Clinical Neurosciences, 64(1). 70-78. doi:10.1111/j.14401819.2009.02034.x
Jamieson, S. (2004). Creating an Educational Program for Young Children Who Are Blind and
Who Have Autism. RE: View: Rehabilitation And Education For Blindness And Visual
Impairment, 35(4), 165-177. doi:10.3200/REVU.35.4.165-178
Peluso, D. C. (2012). The fast-paced iPad revolution: Can educators stay up to date and relevant
about these ubiquitous devices? British Journal Of Educational Technology, 43(4), E125E127. Doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01310.x
All Grade Standards and Sub-standards References
Standard 1: Student Development and Diversity
Teachers of grades P–12 have a broad and comprehensive understanding of student
development and diversity and demonstrate the ability to provide instruction that is
responsive to student differences and that promotes development and learning for all
typical developmental challenges for students from early childhood through
grade 12 (e.g., in relation to independence, self-esteem, peer interactions, physical
development, self-direction, decision making, goal setting, involvement in risky
behaviors, and identity formation) and the ability to help students address these
Standard 2: Learning Processes
Teachers of grades p-12 have a broad and comprehensive understanding of learning
processes and demonstrate the ability to facilitate student achievement,
knowledge of the important roles of play, social interaction, and hands-on experiences in
young children’s learning, and the ability to use these processes to help children construct
knowledge and develop problem-solving and other skills
Standard 5: Learning Environment
Teachers of grades P-12 have a broad and comprehensive understanding of student
learning environments and demonstrate the ability to establish positive, productive, wellmanaged, and safe learning environments for all students,
the ability create safe, healthy, supportive, and inclusive learning environments, including
indoor and outdoor environments, that encourage all students’ engagement, collaboration,
and sense of belonging
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