Introduction to autism: students with special educational needs in Mainstream schools

Introduction to autism

      This is an introductory course which refers to mainstream’s primary school’s teachers who work with special needed students and focus on their full inclusion in the mainstream class. This course wishes to teach educators how to identify, teach and manage students with autism in the general education and community settings. The course provides an overview of the current international climate for inclusion, and national policy initiatives and legislation. Issues around early identification, assessment and screening will be addressed as well as the considerations for collaboration and modifications, necessary to facilitate inclusion at the whole-school level. Participants will gain a sound knowledge of the principles of effective instruction for inclusion and become familiar with approaches to individualized educational planning for diverse learning needs.

Learning Objectives:

     After completing the segment of instruction described above, the learners must be able to do the following:

a)      As far as concepts are concerned:


-          Identify autistic symptoms/characteristics in a student and design activities according to his/her special needs.

-          Give examples of learning and behavioral disorders.





b)      As far as principles are concerned:


-          Predict, explain and control a student’s behavioral disorder in mainstream settings.


c)      As far as specific problem solving is concerned:


-          Assess the educational problem.

-          Determine which learning theories should be used (for each case) and synthesize the appropriate educational program for each ‘special’ student individually.



d)     As far as cognitive strategies are concerned:


-          Assess the learning task.

-          Select the most appropriate strategy for the specific special needed student.

-          Apply the strategy.

-          Assess whether the specialized educational program he/she used was successful and met it’s learning goals.

-          In case the strategy used was ineffective, modify it.  

Athabasca University

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