Autism is a situation that occurs during the initial stages of a child’s growth. The child displays characteristics of self or not willing to cooperate with other children. Children develop difficulties in creating relationships with others and develop other problems such as communication problems, anti-social behaviors, and sensory issues among others. It is imperative to note that while this problem is a condition, it can be improved through adoption of particular actions. This paper discusses how social skills, communication skills, behavior, and sensory problems can be improved in autism children.
Mesibov and Shea discuss an important strategy, which can be adopted to reduce autism in students. Specifically, they focus on a concept they refer to as full inclusion. The concept suggests that students with special needs be educated in an environmental setting similar to that of their developing peers. This involves providing them with support services that they require rather than educating them in a special environment and classrooms (337).
Full inclusion advocates for generalization of autistic students in an integrated setting rather than segregation. From their literature review, they find that most studies found a positive impact of integration of autistic students with the effect of improving their social and communication skills as well as their behaviors. It has been determined that when autistic students are integrated with other students who are non-autistic, their interactions behaviors, academic performance, school attendance, and sensory functionality improves. Even though they barely initiate the interaction process, they are probable to respond to social relationships initiated by their developing counterparts (Mesibov & Shea 341).
Under autism, children need to be educated well in which teachers should enhance students’ social skills, behaviors, sensory abilities, as well as proper communication. Social skills determine the child’s ability to interact with other children. Children with autism lack a spectrum of social skills such as interpersonal abilities, solving conflicts and ability to keep peace with friend among others. Researcher suggests that lack of social skills is the primary source of autism in many children. Many studies conclude that children who lack social skills end up suffering from autism condition. It therefore follows that improving social capabilities is crucial in reducing autism. It is argued that the best way to develop social skills in children with autism is through educating them in a learning community setting that is not different in particular way.
Generally, students with autism are observed to be unresponsive to verbal variations from other individuals in the community. Such unresponsiveness leads to social interaction problems as well as disruptive behaviors (Koegel, Koegel, Hurley, & Frea 341). Segregation without due support is problematic. It results into poor self-acceptance, poor self-concepts of autistic people and negative attitude towards interaction with other people. Therefore, full inclusion can be one way of reducing these negative effects, which negatively influences social skills. By full inclusion, children are encouraged by their peer developing students to respond to the invitations. They can learn to dominate their fear and low self-esteem through friendly interactions with other children. They learn interpersonal interactions from their peers through various situations such as when playing together and while learning in classrooms. It is should be noted that, the essence of controlling as well as eliminating autism is primarily through conquering low self esteem and exposing them to various activities undertaken by non-autism children.
Autism children also face a big challenge when communicating with other peers. It can even be argued that lack of communication skills is contributing factor to development of anti-social behaviors, as they fear talking to other people. Integration can be a good strategy to enhance communication for autism students. As stated above, full integration involves providing support to the students with autism necessary for their development. Adam et al notes that some activities done by normal students such as social story interventions can help greatly improve communication skills within this group (Adams, Gouvousis & VanLue 89). Social story entails narrating a story that describes social situations, which relevant to the subject matter of discussion. These stories enhance communication among autism students. A full inclusion strategy exposes autism students to conversations in a learning environment. Non-autism students engage their peers into communications through bids in their day-to-day relations. This makes counterparts to develop a kind of forced communications, which eventually improve their communication skills. In a normal situation where autism children are secluded in their own schools or classrooms, they tend to be resistant to any form of communication from either their peers or teachers. This keeps them quiet and unless they are interrupted, they may continue which aggravates their ability to communicate.
In a normal situation, autism students will behave abnormally and their lack normal senses. For instance, infant with autism are unaware of any coming or going of other people and are unreachable as well. They hardly notice others as they act as if they are in a separate world (Adams, Gouvousis and VanLue 88). Instead of exploring new interesting things around their environment, they may opt to remain fixed in a particular object. In addition, they fail to respond to local stimuli and may develop sensitivity complications such as hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity. These students require classroom assistance such as completing an academic task. Integrating their classes enables them to get this assistance from their non-autism. Moreover, it has been found that nitrating these students can makes them learn some things such as hand flapping, spinning, or pacing at times of frustrations or high anxiety. This can make them change their behaviors and improve their senses to make them more responsive to the environment.
Adams, Lynn, Aphroditi Gouvousis and Michael VanLue. “Social Story Intervention:.” Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 19(2) (2004): 88-94.
Koegel, Lynn, et al. “Improving Social Skills And Disruptive Behavior in Children With Autism Through Sel-Management.” Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Vol.25 No. 2 (1992): 341-353.
Mesibov, Gary and Victoria Shea. “Full Inclusion and Students with Autism.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Vol. 26, No. 3, (1996): 337-346.