Article Review 2: Inclusion of Students with Autism
EDUC 521: Foundations of Exceptionality
Students with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD) are increasingly being included in general education classrooms. From 1993-2006 there has been a 244% increase in students with HFASD spending 80% or more of their school day in the inclusive classroom. Inclusion is considered by many parents and professionals as the primary form of treatment or intervention. Inclusion provides the opportunity for students with HFASD to improve social skills and gain independence (Sansosti and Sansosti, 2012). Unfortunately, little research has been done in this area to show conclusive results about inclusion of students with HFASD. Inclusion varies widely among school districts. Decisions about the placement of a student with special needs are made on a case by case basis. Inclusion can be thought of as another form of differentiated learning. It provides an educational setting that best meets the child’s needs. Students with autism may need full or partial inclusion or could need a resource room setting. The decision is often made using factors such as: the child’s age, academic level, ability to communicate and their behavioral support needs (Sansosti and Sansosti, 2012). Students with high functioning autism are generally included for more time than those with lower functioning autism. In the research study conducted by Sansosti and Sansosti (2012) teachers surveyed stated that true inclusion took place when students with HFASD were seen as classmates and peers. The teachers also felt that the child with autism should not be dependent on an aide. The aide could be in place but the level of dependency was crucial in determining true inclusion. If the student with special needs spent most of the day communicating with the aide this was viewed as an obstacle to full inclusion since the child would be developing...
References: Sansosti, J. M. and Sansosti, F. J. (2012), Inclusion for Students with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: Definitions and Decision Making. Psychol. Schs., 49: 917–931. doi: 10.1002/pits.21652
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