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"... the most important considerations in devising educational programs for children with autistic spectrum disorders have to do with recognition of the autism spectrum as a whole, with the concomitant implications for social, communicative, and behavioral development and learning, and with the understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual child across areas of development."
—Educating Children with Autism2001

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Subscribe to stay informed of xMinds events, opportunities for advocacy, relevant news articles, and regional programs, lectures, and workshops to help parents and educators improve the educational experiences of students on the autism spectrum.

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"... the most important considerations in devising educational programs for children with autistic spectrum disorders have to do with recognition of the autism spectrum as a whole, with the concomitant implications for social, communicative, and behavioral development and learning, and with the understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual child across areas of development."
—Educating Children with Autism2001




Understanding Autism
Understanding Social Communication Differences

Language and Conversation
Social pragmatic skills refer to a person's ability to use language. Although students are frequently assessed for receptive and expressive language skills, there is no single standardized assessment for social pragmatic skills while engaged in the dynamic act of communicating.(1) Some students on the autism spectrum may have good receptive language skills but poor expressive language skills and few social pragmatic skills. Children diagnosed as high-functioning or Asperger's Syndrome, may have both excellent receptive and expressive language skills, but poor social pragmatic skills. 

  • May avoid eye contact or give fleeting eye contact
    • May not look toward speaker in a group setting
  • May use an advanced vocabulary
  • May not initiate or respond to greetings or good-byes without prompting
  • May not understand how to start or end a conversation
  • May not understand the give and take of conversation
    • May speak in monologues or “lectures”
    • May try to direct the conversation
    • May interrupt others inappropriately
    • May not notice when the listener is no longer interested and will continue talking
  • May use memorized scripts from books, t.v. shows, and movies to communicate
  • May not join a conversation, but rather sit and listen
  • May have difficulty contributing to the topic of conversation, especially if the subject is not a preferred interest
    • May want to talk only about preferred topics
    • May have trouble staying on topic
  • May not speak with appropriate inflection or volume
    • Language may sound stiff or “robotic”
    • May speak too loudly, or too quietly
  • May have difficulty understanding nonverbal communication (facial expressions, gestures)
  • May have difficulty understanding tone of voice or inflection, so may misunderstand sarcasm
  • May have difficulty understanding abstract and figurative language (idioms)
  • May have difficulty understanding language with multiple meanings (jokes)
  • May have difficulty asking for help

(1) Thinking About YOU Thinking About Me, Michelle Garcia Winner.






Improving the educational experiences and outcomes of students on the autism spectrum in grades K-12

 
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