Resources for teachers
Autism CRC’s School Years Program: Enhancing Learning and Teaching
A US study estimates that 1 in 68 school-aged children have been identified as autistic (US CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network). In Australia, the majority of children on the autism spectrum attend mainstream schools.
Students on the autism spectrum often have diverse needs that present unique challenges to schools. As educators, you have a profound influence on students – so, it’s incredibly important to have a solid understanding of autism, how it may affect learning, and the strategies and support available.
Autism CRC offers a variety of resources to equip teachers to help their students succeed in school and beyond, with many more in development. We are delighted to share these resources with you and invite you to share them with your colleagues.
Importantly, while our research is focused on students on the autism spectrum, the resources we develop are designed for use with all students, in keeping with the principles of Universal Design for Learning. We are always looking for ways to improve our resources.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or feedback:
Keely Harper Hill
PhD Research Associate, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology
+61 7 3138 3046
Literacy Profiles and Literacy Predictors of Early Learners on the Autism Spectrum
Many children on the autism spectrum will have difficulties learning to read. These resources are the result of three projects investigating the literacy profiles of early learners on the autism spectrum and how these profiles may assist educators to predict literacy achievements, and inform teaching and learning decision-making.
The Robotics Club Program
Specialised social clubs are an excellent way to promote inclusion in mainstream schools. We implemented and evaluated a robotics social club to investigate whether if it would support the development of peer network for students on the autism spectrum. The result? The club increased social networks, motivation, engagement, personal and social capabilities and task and technology skills. It also helped enhanced teachers’ ability to better understand and support their neurodiverse students.
Secret Agent Society
Multiple research evaluations support the effectiveness of Secret Agent Society (SAS) for empowering the social and emotional skills of children on the autism spectrum as well as other children who experience social and emotional challenges. Many schools integrate SAS into their learning support and curriculum resources. To find out more about any of the below SAS resource and program options please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sst-institute.net.
If you'd like to find out more about the SAS Computer Game, join us for a SAS Computer Game Webinar. It's a great introduction to SAS and targeting specific social and emotional skills in your existing classrooms.
Educational Needs Analysis
Autistic students may present unique challenges to school systems. An inclusive approach to education requires teachers to address these challenges and support the unique needs of autistic students.
The Educational Needs Analysis is a world first research project that gathered the perspectives of 1,500 educators, parents, specialists and students to determine and better understand the educational needs of students on the autism spectrum, aged 5 to 18.
Students on the autism spectrum may demonstrate executive functioning weaknesses which present as difficulties in transitioning between tasks, commencing a new task, and completing complex tasks that need to be broken down into steps. Students on the spectrum also often lack the flexibility to cope with changes during the school day resulting in difficulties coping with transitions from one activity to another.
Structured Teaching strategies such as visual schedules and work systems have been found to enhance the capacity of these students to stay on task and transition between tasks. The majority of previous studies have, however, focused on the use of these strategies within special education or autism specific contexts.