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Autism Spectrum disorders (ASD) effects a great number of students and it is therefore

important to consider evidence based practices that help the stakeholders to support these
students. This paper looks at a case study of a student diagnosed with ASD who will be called
Jack. After defining ASD consideration of how this is manifesting in Jacks situation with
reference to parental, social and academic issues. This will be followed by three strategies
that could be implemented with Jack to assist the stakeholders to support Jack. This paper
finishes with reflection as a teacher as to how my practices have been improved through
study and practical experiences.
ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that varies greatly in its expression from individual to
individual (Ashman & Ekins 2012; Rogers, 2014). The neurological differences within the
individuals with ASD effect the way in which these individuals think and perceive input
(Rogers, 2014). Although there does not appear to be one single reason for ASD there are a
number of evidence based practices that can be followed (Happ, Ronald & Polmin, 2006;
National Autism Center (NAC), 2009). The interventions for the individual need to be
implemented only after a comprehensive assessment of the student and all the data that has
been collected and analysed as what works for one student may not be suitable for another
student (Koegel, Matos-Freden, Lang, R. & Koegel, 2011). Evidence-based practice is
complex and requires both ongoing communication and respectful interactions among all
stakeholders (NAC, 2009, p.2). Stakeholder are the people who are invested in the success
and welfare of the student with ASD either at home, socially, therapeutically or within the
educational environment (Great Schools Partnership, 2014). For the purposes of this paper
the stakeholders include the parents, teacher, as well as Jack and Jacks fellow classmates.
Parents with children with developmental disabilities, such as ASD, suffer from negative
psychological outcomes due to such things as financial burdens, restrictions in social
activities and stress due to dealing with behavioural issues (Lecavalier, Leone & Wiltz,

2006). According to Jrbrink, Fombonne, and Knapp (2003) parents of children with ASD
often find it financially difficult due to loss of income as would be the case in this family
where at least one of Jacks parents has been unable to regularly attend work. One issue that
students with ASD is where students are unable to block sensory input and therefore this
causes difficulty in regulating emotions especially when transitioning to undesirable activities
(Rogers, 2013). In Jacks case he finds it difficult to leave his home environment and
transition to school where some of the activities are undesirable especially those involving
reading and writing. Although planning to cater for Jack in this situation can be considered
from a number of positions it will be considered from the parents need for communication
and support from the school in order to make this transition to school successful.
Students with ASD often have difficulty using appropriate social skills as is the case with
Jack who does not understand the concept of turn taking and waiting to give an answer during
mathematical discussions (Gangluy, 2015a). Although brain differences affect the way in
which a student with ASD looks at the world, experiences create new pathways in the brain
so appropriate ways of responding socially can be taught through direct instruction (Roger,
2013: Gangluy, 2015a). Frangenheim (2012) suggests that for students to engage in higher
order thinking the teacher should pause to give students time to think. As Jack is calling out
the answer the other students are not provided with thinking time so it is necessary to limit
Jacks opportunities to answer while not discouraging his participation in the mathematical
discussions. For the purpose of this paper consideration will be made to modifying the
behaviour of constantly interrupting the mathematics lessons with inappropriate calling out of
answers with the aim that Jack will understand how to self-regulate his responses in the
future.
Academic achievement is often delayed in students with ASD and this is frequently further
hindered through disruptive behaviours (Koegel, Singh & Koegel, 2010). As Rogers (2013)

affirms development of the students vocabulary is an essential part of the comprehension


process. Comprehension is difficult for students with ASD because often a combination of
factors are occurring that being deficits in communication and social interactions as well as
cognitive processing deficits (Randi, Newman & Grigorenko, 2010, p.1). Although the
student may recognise the words the student with ASD does not always comprehend the
meaning of the words (Randi et al., 2010). Jacks inability to read key mathematical terms is
causing Jack anxiety resulting in absenting from the classroom which in turn is academically
putting Jack behind. Although interventions could be initiated to modify Jacks behaviour for
the purpose of this paper academic supports will be considered which can relieve his anxiety.