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Effective Teaching Strategies for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder

Introduction

The topic of my explanation and research will deal here in the report on the best practices that could be opted for teaching students with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder in the school environment. The document will provide the best practices that the faculty should follow by laying reading, writing, and critical thinking to highlight the importance of equity and accessibility for the students. Learning abilities, instructions, and best practices of teaching would be discussed in this paper by searching and reviewing online peer-reviewed articles.

The learning disabilities about Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder would be known so that the best practices to teach students are known. The two ADHD and ASD are the disorders that need effective strategies, different learning techniques and a great understanding of disorders to assist students. The deep understanding assists the students to ensure the success and increase in competition to raise awareness and promotion of equity in the classroom. These two disorders occur in all groups irrespective of socioeconomic backgrounds, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientations.

The Differences and Similarities Between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder is the disorder that has a relation from the perspective of society and ADHD is based on self-regulation and functioning disorder. The article presented in the journal in the year 2016 with the title Molecular Autism discussing "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), suggests that the symptoms of ASD diagnosis do not overlap with the symptoms of ADHD. However, the prevalence of ADHD disorder children are facing social difficulties with the suffering of 20-60% and ASD children are facing 30-75% of societal discrimination. The percentage of Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder is higher than Autism Spectrum Disorder.

ASD and ADHD have some common traits such as in both the disorders working memory of children is less and has a lack of executive functioning skills. The students are unable to analyze the task at a greater level and do not show excellent results in the subjects they have mastered. Assistance is needed for both types of disorder students in managing the time as well as organizing their tasks. This aid they can get from teachers helps in setting the timelines for them, graphic organizers, and audio-visual aids. It means that they need the assistance of someone to plan and organize their tasks that are larger and need more attention. The students have a difficult time transitioning and for this instructors may use transactional cues to move between activities in the classroom. Due to these many reasons, they face difficulty in managing social relationships (Bethlehem, Romero-Garcia, Mak, Bullmore & Baron-Cohen, 2017).

Federal Guidelines

According to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the schools and colleges are said to follow some procedures for planning the education system for disabled students. The disabled students may disclose their disability and ask for their services and accommodation by themselves. The involvement of parents might be there or not depending upon the scenario. In the colleges and schools, the information of students is kept confidential so that privacy is not disclosed by the authorities.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) of the American Association 2016, described Autism Spectrum Disorder as it does not includes Asperger's syndrome separately. It is a neurological disorder according to the author of the article and has two symptoms such as restricted and repetitive behavior, and deficits in communication and social interaction. In this disorder, students face difficulty in following central coherence, executive functioning, and theory of mind. These troubles are caused by an individual with sensory processing. Some of the things that hurt learning are strong smells, loud sounds, uncomfortable seats, and bright lights that have been proven in studies (Sokolova et al., 2017).

Executive functioning skills refer to the ability of a person to put things in an organized manner that impacts time management, planning, working memory, and prioritization. The theory of mind deals with the desires, beliefs, thoughts, and perceptions of the individual. Autism Spectrum Disorder shares the perception and misunderstanding of the vocal as well as physical cues. Moreover, the students face central coherence in which the ability of the person is determined and discarded to the success in education.

Hence, here the four areas are discussed that provide us the cues that how students suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder could be given help to address their problems in organizations. However, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder that causes affect to social relations, and it is important to note that the functioning of autistic students should be noted (Uddin, Dajani, Voorhies, Bednarz & Kana, 2017).

The rates of Autism has grown and almost reached to double according to the data presented by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. They said that ASD occurs in all types of students irrespective of any discrimination based on race, socioeconomic status, and ethnic groups. This fact is unknown to all that what are the major factors that are responsible for causing Autism Disorder. However, it is said that environmental factors and genetics are responsible to cause autism. The aspects of Autism affect traditional learning systems in the classroom by students.

As an example, it is said that the students may not understand physical or verbal communication more effectively than normal students. It is also stated in the articles that Autism Spectrum Disorder affected students who have good long-term memory and they specialize in the area of their interest. These students are highly intelligent and achieve good marks in their core areas. Therefore, it becomes easy for Autism students to achieve their goals and organize their content and space (Gordon-Lipkin, Marvin, Law & Lipkin, 2018).

ASD students are usually taught by visual learning to maintain the balance between lessons and tasks, and audiovisual resources. They complete their work as expected from them. The handwritten assignments are said to be difficult for them as they require a sense of motor skills which is typical for them. The students can also be taught be using assistive technologies such as speaking systems in the way they can record and read their essays on the page. Library also provides help to the students in the way that the articles and other sources are presented in an audio manner with the help of several databases so that they can speak and read. At present, when the student has to write an essay or wherever handwriting is needed, they can go through a mechanical pencil so that the process is made easier (Naaijen et al., 2017).

Autistic students are said to face many difficulties in completing their assignments. It has been estimated that 0.7 to 1.9 percent of college students are there that are in colleges and 80 percent of them do not complete their assignments on time. Moreover, Tourette's syndrome, depression, compulsive disorder, and insomnia are found in the people suffering from Autism. The few signs are there that tells that the student is suffering from autism are talking too little, excessive talking odd prosody, repetitions in speech, and abnormal focus on some subjects. This disorder can happen to any person without any previous knowledge (Stergiakouli et al., 2017).

Best Practices for Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • The timings of the class should be organized and consistent and the preparation must be done to get the students prepared for surprise tests, pop quizzes, and last-minute projects. This can increase the level of anxiety among the students so that they must not feel difficult to cope up (Muskens, Velders & Staal, 2017).

  • It is noted that autistic students are very sensitive to their surroundings they hear more sounds like clock tickling, garbage smell, and marking of the chair more than other students. The way that could be best suitable for them is minimizing the strong smells, bright lights, and loud sounds at all times.

  • Sometimes not all the students may understand the matter as others do, the autistic students must be asked that whether they have got the clarification or not or even state the way they can solve their problem.

  • The autistic students must not be discriminated against on any grounds and it should be felt that it is not the personal thing. The instructor should provide a comfortable environment by giving each student a specific person in every task like a moderator, speaker, timer, and researcher.

  • If the student is facing behavioral issues, then they must be given cues on how the modifications can be done so as they could be given personal space and time to bubble. The strategies like self-regulation should help target the student for improvement. This exercise could be done once or twice in a class so that the discussion relates and gives an idea of the problem (Jhang, Huang, Hsueh & Liao, 2017).

The accommodation should be extended for quizzes, in class-essays, and exams and the alternatives to do these examinations can include speech synthesis, tape-recorded lectures, recognition computer systems, and notetakers. There are two types of students, one that needs accommodation and the second that does not. The instructor must have clarity that some students are ready to accept that they autistic and some do not. Hence, accommodation should be provided to all the students as it would be the best practice. The ways that can be used are:

  • Students should say to present in a typed format.

  • Typing of the lecture should be done and the hardcopy should be shared at the beginning of the classroom.

  • Ample time should be given to the students to complete their assignments.

  • Various modalities such as kinesthetic, auditory, and visual should be chosen to provide the study material.

Therefore, best practices should be chosen to create the guidelines, cues, activities to meet the expectations and consistency.

Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder

According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) of the American Psychiatric Association 2016, Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder is of two main categories such as hyperactivity-impulsiveness and poor sustained attention. The symptoms are such that impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity but is not explicit in the students in the same way. ADHD presents comorbid behaviors such as oppositional defiant disorders, compulsive behavior, anxiety, and depression. The students must be motivated, self-regulated, time-management, and confidence for getting success in their education. There are some positive contributions of ADHD students such as resilience, creativity, hyperfocus, and out-of-the-box thinking. The strategies should be developed for teaching these students and enhancing their knowledge (Colombi & Ghaziuddin, 2017). 

Best Practices for Students with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder

  • The assignments should be broken into smaller parts so that they can organize and manage their time accordingly.

  • The highlighter should be used to present the keywords in their task before passing on to them.

  • Extended time should be given to them so that they must not feel anxious about completing their assignments.

  • The students must be told to follow the think-pair-share strategy. This will help in promoting inclusivity and reducing anxiety.

  • The students must be given the choice to select the assignments on their own based on interest.

  • Self-regulation activities should be encouraged so that the students can contribute to class learning (Butwicka et al., 2017).

Teaching to Different Learning Styles

The strategies like pair/ share/ square, link up and share and jigsaw with elements of fiction, all in one prewriting, film clip paragraph with sensory details, looping, nut shelling, multisensory approaches, and scaffolding should be used to deliver the material in visual, auditory, kinetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, logical, linguistic styles should be used.

Conclusion

With the help of understanding and compassion, the strategies for instruction can improve the delivery of education in the best possible manner to autistic students. ASD and ADHD disorders are affecting major population so these areas needs to be addressed with the inclusion of strategic approaches in the classroom to improve the success rates of ensuring equity and neurodiversity.

References

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), 2016.

Bethlehem, R. A., Romero-Garcia, R., Mak, E., Bullmore, E. T., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2017). Structural covariance networks in children with autism or ADHD. Cerebral Cortex27(8), 4267-4276.

Butwicka, A., Långström, N., Larsson, H., Lundström, S., Serlachius, E., Almqvist, C. & Lichtenstein, P. (2017). Increased risk for substance use-related problems in autism spectrum disorders: a population-based cohort study. Journal of autism and developmental disorders47(1), 80-89.

Colombi, C., & Ghaziuddin, M. (2017). Neuropsychological characteristics of children with mixed autism and ADHD. Autism research and treatment2017.

Gordon-Lipkin, E., Marvin, A. R., Law, J. K., & Lipkin, P. H. (2018). Anxiety and mood disorder in children with autism spectrum disorder and ADHD. Pediatrics141(4), e20171377.

Jhang, C. L., Huang, T. N., Hsueh, Y. P., & Liao, W. (2017). Mice lacking cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 manifest autistic and ADHD-like behaviors. Human molecular genetics26(20), 3922-3934.

Muskens, J. B., Velders, F. P., & Staal, W. G. (2017). Medical comorbidities in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders: a systematic review. European child & adolescent psychiatry26(9), 1093-1103.

Naaijen, J., Bralten, J., Poelmans, G., Glennon, J. C., Franke, B., & Buitelaar, J. K. (2017). Glutamatergic and GABAergic gene sets in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: association to overlapping traits in ADHD and autism. Translational psychiatry7(1), e999-e999.

Sokolova, E., Oerlemans, A. M., Rommelse, N. N., Groot, P., Hartman, C. A., Glennon, J. C., & Buitelaar, J. K. (2017). A causal and mediation analysis of the comorbidity between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Journal of autism and developmental disorders47(6), 1595-1604.

Stergiakouli, E., Smith, G. D., Martin, J., Skuse, D. H., Viechtbauer, W., Ring, S. M., & St Pourcain, B. (2017). Shared genetic influences between dimensional ASD and ADHD symptoms during child and adolescent development. Molecular Autism8(1), 18.

Uddin, L. Q., Dajani, D. R., Voorhies, W., Bednarz, H., & Kana, R. K. (2017). Progress and roadblocks in the search for brain-based biomarkers of autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Translational psychiatry7(8), e1218-e1218.

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