As part of an evaluation the abnormal psychology class had to attend either the psychiatry ward or the alpha centre to evaluate the patients there. I however chose the alpha centre, mostly because I saw it as a cliché to choose the psychiatry ward. When I arrived at the centre, I observed the environment of the classrooms and the yard. There were classes on both floors of the building. The classes were small some tighter spaced than others and were slightly decorated with posters. They also have an assembly room, staff room, administrative office. The grounds of the school were well kept. They also had a garden which the children tend to in the morning. I was given a six (6) year old boy who was diagnosed with mild autism. His classroom was really small and tight spaced. It had a round table where each student sat. There are five students in that class. There were shelves which were well organized with different materials needed for the students. It had a sink far out from the working area, where they could wash up after themselves. There was a computer in the classroom which the instructor said she sometimes uses for lessons, music and looking at pictures. Autism is a complex developmental disorder that affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. Common features of autism include impaired social interactions, impaired verbal and nonverbal communication, problems processing information from the senses, and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour (Development and Psychopathology, 2002). Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism asperger are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviours (What is Autism, 2013).
I was told that this six year old boy comes from a reasonable size family but it was difficult for the mother to give him her undivided attention. This kind of situation is most time the same for many mothers who have a child with a disorder. He has a short attention span which also affects his ability to learn efficiently although he is more advance than his classmates. The instructor gave me the job of getting this young boy thorough his lessons for the day. I tried helping him match the letter cards to a letter board the instructor had made. She made this for each student. While helping him with this I realize that in fact he did have problems with paying attention and most times needed encouragement and motivation to try and continue his work. After every attempt in each lesson I had to cheer him on so that he could feel encouraged to do so. In the beginning I did not feel like cheering but after getting to know this young boy and looking at his situation, it came naturally to cheer him on. In 1990 autism was added to the IDEA list of disabilities qualifying for special services (Woolfolk, 2013, p.153). Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement act (IDEA) is a series of laws, which guarantees a free public education to all children regardless of their disability. For generations children with autism have had difficulties majorly in the field of social relations. They are unable form connections with others; they avoid eye contact or resisting sharing feelings such as enjoyment or interest in others. The development of the social and emotional health of a child is essential to the appropriate behaviour, understanding of life and transition to adulthood. Social and emotional development helps shape a child into what he or she will become later in life by teaching proper reactions to emotional matters. Social skills are all about a child's ability to cooperate and play with others, paying attention to adults and teachers, and making reasonable transitions from activity to activity. Emotional development is the process of learning how to understand and control emotions...
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