Education for Autism

The diagnosis of autism especially before age 3 is very important. Because the sooner the child with autism starts to have special education, the faster to have progress. It is supposed to be given special education that is prepared for children with autism, necessarily minimum 20 hours in a week, preferably 34-40 hours.
Besides special education, language-speech therapy and occupational therapy are the support of the special education. In many developed countries such as USA and Canada, language-speech therapists and occupational therapists are assigned at the schools to provide support service for the handicapped children mainly for autistic children. These therapies are financed by government or the state. Language-speech and occupational therapists also prpovide consultancy service for the teachers and for the parents.
Language-speech therapists apply different therapies to the authistic children in order to develop their language and communication skills. The main goal of these therapies are to gain the authistic children the communication skills that will provide them to communicate in social surroundings. For this purpose, the children are being provided to understand better the speeches directed to them, to express themselves apparently, to start and continue the conversation skills.Some of the methods (such as incidental teaching) that the language-speech therapists use for children with autism are mentioned in the following sections.
Occupational therapists work for improving daily living skills, social skills and adaptive behaviours of children with autism and work for decreasing their behavioral disorders. “Sensory integration therapy” is the most common method that the occupational therapists practice. You can kindly find the detailed information about this method in the “Therapy Methods” section..
Besides special education for children with autism, as well as therapy and psychiatric methods may be practiced. However, practicing other therapy and psychiatric therapy do not reduce the need for special education.Therefore, every child with autism has to have special education, no matter the therapy or treatment he gets. Other methods support the special education but cannot replace the special education.


1-            Applied Behaviour Analysis
•             Discrete Trial Teaching
•             Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention
•             Teaching Schedule of Events
•             Scripts and script fading
•             Video modeling
•             Incidental Teaching
•             Functional Assessment and analysis
•             PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
•             Verbal Behaviour

2-            TEACCH Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped  Children Strategies
3-            Relationship based methods
4-            Social Stories
5-            Facilitated Communication


Applied behavior analysis (ABA: Applied behavioranalysis), also known as behavioral methods. In this method, the environmental attributes associated with individual behavior, and this behavior is based on analyzing objectively. Many a way that is thought to be rewarded or punished by the behavior of that environment. Therefore, (using a variety of reward mechanisms and some much needed deterrent mechanism, for example, the child loses points) to increase appropriate behaviors, are trying to reduce the inappropriate behavior. Examples of increasing autism imitation skills in individuals targeted behavior, play skills, social skills, communication skills and self-care skills; Examples of targeted reducing the tantrums and self-stimulatory behavior (stereotypic) behavior can be given.
Applied behavior analysis to individuals to gain required or desired behavior is determined to be reduced in individuals with a systematic observation and records kept. Then, these behaviors have surgical treatment, as the effectiveness of the intervention by the methods of monitoring and record keeping are evaluated. A behavior they have learned can be applied to children with normal development in more than one environment (generalizing), the ability to generalize these skills to children with autism; In other words, the ability to use in different environments is also taught.
In applied behavior analysis, autism-related reduction of behavioral problems seen in children with special programs prepared. In this method, not the cause of the behavior of the person, seen in their interaction with the environment. Therefore, prior behavior as a priority when attempting to reduce problem behavior, it must be observed that the condition or behavior and post-event. Then, while eliminating situations that prepare the ground behavior is ignored when it occurs desired behavior to reduce or discourage (for example, lost child points) and the desired behavior to be increased as an alternative to the problem behavior is rewarded effectively.

Autism study in applied behavior analysis for children:
•             Whenever the child is awake,
•             Target all areas of the child's behavior,
•             In all circles through which the child's life,
•             By all the important people in the life of the child,
•             Week training started at an early age are expected as early as applied 20-40 hours.

The ultimate goal of applied behavior analysis for children with autism, these children are coming to be able to continue mainstreaming program level with their peers.
Compared with other methods used in applied behavior analysis autism, is notable as the only way to success as a scientific experimental research. For example, experimental studies carried out by Lovaas and his colleagues, based on their children's education, applied behavior analysis for two years, close to 90% were observed gain crucial intelligence and social development. Furthermore, in terms of intelligence and adaptability of these children were determined to stay close to half a significant difference from children with normal development. In addition, it was found that the stated development in adolescence and well maintained. The same features with the children in the experimental group carries none of these developments in the control group consisting of children without the chance of getting such an education could not be observed. Bibliographic data of this research are as follows:

Lovaas, OR (1987). Behavioral treatment and normal educational and intellectual functioning in young autistic children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 3-9.
MMCEACH's, JJ, SMITH, T. & Lovaas, Ola (1993) Long-term outcome for children with autism who received early intensive behavioral treatment.
American Journal on Mental Retardation, 97 (4), 359-372


Education, therapy and treatment methods vary in autism and day by day new methods are being added. The most known and commonly used methods are specified in SEN Assistance website. 
The benefits of education, therapy or treatment methods should be proved with the consequences of scientific researchs.  However, each scientific research relevant a method does not show whether that method works or not.The research has to have two features in order to show the effects of the method on the results of scientific research:
1. Research must be experimental.
2. The research must be published as article in the refereed scientific journal.


The education, therapy and treatment methods specified in the Sen Assistance web site are considered as based on the features mentioned above:
Good: There are many experimental researches showing the positive effects of this method on the children with autism.
Medium: There are limited researches showing the positive effects of this method on the children with autism.
Weak: There is no experimental research showing the positive effects of this method yet or the experimetal researches conducted has the result that this method has no positive effect on the children with autism.
* Experimental research is the investigation by carried out by providing experimental control and enables to establish cause-and-effect relationship.
  ** Refereed scientific journals are the scientific journals subjecting the experts’ arbitration for the publication of each scientific article.





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