Classroom Accommodations for Jeffrey Madison
The last decade has seen a rising prevalence of autism spectrum disorders within various educational settings throughout the country. Autism spectrum disorder is a disability category that may have negative and adverse impacts on the social and academic attainment of students (Richardson, 2017). Therefore, increased prevalence of the disability over the pats decade continues to put pressures on teachers to provide adequate accommodations and supports to ensure that the outcomes for students with autism spectrum disorder within the educational setting have bene improved. Accommodations and supports are necessary since majority of these students with disabilities are included within the general education classroom where teachers may not be prepared to meet their needs. Jeffrey Madison suffers from significant language impairments as a result of autism spectrum disorder. The following are the accommodations and modifications that must be implemented in his classroom for him to become successful both socially and academically.
The curriculum content for students with autism spectrum disorder should not be watered down. Rather, the content delivery should be modified to accommodate ASD students through the adoption of effective evidence-based instructional strategies. A primary instructional accommodation that should be made when dealing with students with autism spectrum disorders is peer-tutoring. Peer tutoring entails arrangements whereby students with autism spectrum disorders within the general education classroom work in pairs with other students to improve academic performance as well as social learning. It is the involvement of typically developing peers as socially competent facilitators (Crosland, & Dunlap, 2013).
Jefferey’s report indicates that he has significant social impairments which might be due to poor communication skills as a result of language impairment. Evidence shows that peer-tutoring strategies are viable and effective strategies for enhancing social interactions for children with ASD (Hott, Alresheed, & Henry, 2014). Therefore, by utilizing peer tutoring, Jeffrey’s social interaction can be improved. Proper social interactions stimulate cognitive development and also leads to productive vocabulary (Ramirez-Esparza, Garcia-Sierra, & Kuhl, 2017).
Another instructional strategy that can be utilized in the case of Jeffrey is the use of visuals as well as breaking larger assignments into smaller chunks. As pointed out by Zeedyk, Tipton, & Blacher (2014), clinical accommodations for schools when dealing with students with autism spectrum disorder include adhering to predictable routines, constantly reminding them of upcoming assignments, using appropriate visuals, breaking large assignments into smaller units that can be turned in separately, and providing ample response times for questions.
For students with autism spectrum disorder to be successful within the general classroom environment, it is integral that they exercise some degree of independent academic functioning (Crosland, & Dunlap, 2013). Therefore, self-management will also be utilized as an instructional accommodation for Jeffrey. Self-management are effective strategies that help promote classroom independence by shifting by shifting responsibilities from the teacher to the student (Crosland, & Dunlap, 2013). Impairments in social communication and language are some of the primary diagnostic criteria for ASD individuals (Mody, & Belliveau, 2013). Therefore, using a speech language pathologist can help to significantly improve academic outcomes (Lissa, 2016). In addition, family involvement has bene reported to be beneficial for ASD students (Dallas, Ramisch, & McGowan, 2015) and so Jeffrey’s family will be heavily involved in his educational journey.
The primary classroom modification for students with autism spectrum disorder relates to the seating arrangements. Students with ASD such as Jeffreys usually display repetitive behaviors that might impact on their learning by causing disruptions. To ensure that they can concentrate within the classroom, effective seating accommodations should be arranged. For example, rather than having Jeffrey sit on normal chairs or on the floor in a circle like other students, therapy balls can be utilized. The use of therapy balls has been established as an effective alternative seating intervention for improving both in-seat behavior as well as engagement for children with ASD (Schilling, & Schwartz, 2004). Also, to eliminate any discomforting sensory stimuli, students with ASD can be given priority in choosing their seats (Zeedyk, Tipton, & Blacher, 2014). Adequate seating space should also be provided.
Testing and assessment modifications should be made to accommodate Jeffreys. Assessments present a host of difficulties for students with autism spectrum disorders as it is extremely difficult, or sometimes impossible, for them to adhere to the strict guidelines and still perform well. There are several testing modifications that can be implemented to accommodate students with ASD during assessments. First and foremost, the tests should be free of any lengthy verbal directions or significant reading tasks. Other testing accommodations include providing private rooms or spaces to allow the student to take the test without distractions, allowing the student to wear earplugs, and allowing extra time so he can finish tasks (Zeedyk, Tipton, & Blacher, 2014).
Crosland, K., & Dunlap, G. (2013). Effective Strategies for the Inclusion of Children with Autism in General Education Classrooms. Behavior Modification, 36(3). 251-269. DOI: 10.1177/0145445512442682
Dallas, B. K., Ramisch, J. L., & McGowan, B. (2015). Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Role of Family in Postsecondary Settings: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Journal of Post-Secondary Education and Disability, 28(2). 135-147.
Hott, B. L., Alresheed, F. M., & Henry, H. R. (2014). Peer Tutoring Interventions for Student with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Meta – Synthesis. Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation, 15(1). 109-121. DOI: 10.2478/jser-2014-0007
Lissa, A. P. (2016). Common Core State Standards and the speech-language pathologist: Standards-based intervention for special populations. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing
Mody, M., & Belliveau, J. W. (2013). Speech and Language Impairments in Autism: Insights from Behavior and Neuroimaging. North American Journal of Medicine & Science, 5(3), 157–161.
Ramirez-Esparza, N., Garcia-Sierra, A., & Kuhl, K. P. (2017). The Impact of Early Social Interactions on Later Language Development in Spanish–English Bilingual Infants. Child Development, 88(4).1216-1234. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12648
Richardson, E. J. T. (2017). Academic Attainment in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Distance Education. The Journal of Open, Distance, and e-learning, 32(1). 81-91. https://doi.org/10.1080/02680513.2016.1272446
Schilling, D. L., & Schwartz, I. S. (2004). Alternative Seating for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Effects on Classroom Behavior. Journal of Autism and Developmental Behavior, 34(4). 423-434.
Zeedyk, M. S., Tipton, A. L., & Blacher, J. (2014). Educational Supports for High-Functioning Youth with ASD: The Postsecondary Pathway to College. Focus on Autism and other Developmental Disabilities, 31(1). 37-48. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088357614525435