Autism Online Courses

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Children with autism grow up to be adults who aspire to go to college and work alongside their peers. Several programs must be incorporated in order for students to appreciate and excel in education. Autism knowledge is growing, and more research is being done to assist parents and teachers in identifying the particular activities and needs of these students. Children who have grown up with the disorder to young adulthood admit that they must be prepared for a transformation that will allow them to meet difficulties in social interactions, academics, and jobs (Hart, Grigal, and Weir 110). Academically, research has proved that the traditional courses for autistic students are challenging because the students often face discrimination from their fellow pupils and some teachers claim that teaching the ASD students is difficult. The tolerance of the students in the learning institutions is becoming unbearable, and thus, the introduction of online courses is a great advantage to the students as well as the teachers (Van Bergeijk, Klein, and Volkmar 84). The paper provides an argument that supports the idea that online courses would be better than the traditional class for young adults on the autism spectrum.
Online schools refer to learning institutions that teach courses entirely through online methods. The online courses have replaced the traditional mode of teaching that requires a student to have direct contact with the tutors. The courses have to be fully accredited so as to serve the purpose of the curriculum. There are many reasons for the growing need to incorporate virtual courses in the education sector in particular for students with autism disorder. For example, online courses are fast and efficient because all the student's services are conducted through internet (Hart, Grigal, and Weir 115). The online courses differ from the traditional classes through the physical media that links educators, administrators, and the children. Despite having no physical face to face communication with the teachers, online courses provide the students with the opportunity to keep in contact with the educators and other children through web connectivity. The children can also make phone calls with the teachers who can assist them without the need to travel and meet them in person. To improve the communication and interaction strategy, many online institutions have implemented system programs to build and maintain students’ profiles. There are also many online books and journals made available for them. Students with the autism disorder cannot afford to travel far to schools and colleges as normal children do (Hamad et al. 200). Therefore, providing access to online courses for them while at home is appropriate and beneficial for the students. Moreover, the absence of travel costs is also a saving factor for the parents because they do not have to pay for their kids' transport to schools.
Moreover, attending traditional courses in mainstream schools requires financial fees and other school materials to add up such as textbooks and teaching materials. On the contrary, most online courses will always provide electronic reading materials free of cost because they are made available on the Internet. For instance, students taking computer engineering classes can access web design class for free and use products such as Corel without any payment. The pupils can receive a full version of selected programs with a limited license, thus, the success of online schools. Traditional courses may also require the use of computers that are provided for the students to share. The machines will often use Microsoft operating system depending on the course work requirements (Humphrey 42). However, many online courses require that the student has their laptops which are provided for free for the autism students by the government. It is evident that these students are likely to be disadvantaged and their needs might be neglected when they undergo the leading traditional courses together with other normal students (Van Bergeijk, Klein, and Volkmar 105). The development of online schools for them has solved the problem of bullying from their fellows and the complaints from teachers that teaching them is difficult.
Online schools are better than traditional schools because they provide the students with many materials that are needed to address their individual need. For example, laptops, study guides, course guides, science kits, art, supplies, network routers, and printers. Therefore, there is no need for the students to travel to schools where they can meet the teachers. For a long time, teachers have blamed the parents of the autistic children that their pupils are manipulating and they are not ready to fit in the mainstream traditional courses (Hamad et al. 203). The tutors have failed to understand and recognize the challenges the child faces in trying to adapt to the environment and curriculum. With online courses, the child and the parent will not have to face the dilemma anymore. Schools teaching traditional courses do not appreciate the training for special needs students like the ASD. There is substantial evidence that the schools' administrators and teachers do not have the knowledge and training to deal with autistic students. The teachers are not motivated to obtain the training independently, and thus many traditional schools are using punitive and restrictive measures when dealing with the autistic pupils (Hart, Grigal, and Weir 120). This is not the case with online schools where the program is entirely oriented and designed to fit the needs of the students.
The parents with autistic children are likely to experience financial constraints as they try to balance the payments for education and treatment. The online schools have proved to be more economically feasible than traditional schools. The cost of setting an online school is less because it does not require building and full-time teachers. Instead of setting a mainstream facility, the money can be directed to programming online education that reaches many autistic pupils. The students with a low income can be provided with internet access, laptops, and other supplies needed for their schooling. The online courses are a great equalizer regarding social, religious, financial, mental, and ethnic differences (White, Scahill, and Koenig 1409). It gives the autistic students an equal opportunity to learn and exploit their full potential. They can stay in school by remaining logged in even when the traditional schools do not accept them. Children can interact with one another through online study groups thus boosting their social life. Many traditional schools neglect and discriminate against pupils with special needs. They often feel out of place and, thus, cannot perform well in their studies. In online education, children can interact via Wimba and Elluminate, a socialization method that best fits the autistic students. The bullying in mainstream schools is still underway despite the laws and policies that restrict the act. On the contrary, there is little bullying reported for online teaching such as cyber-bullying that can be easy stopped with the online IP addresses the moderators can use to track the bullies (Hart, Grigal, and Weir 123).
Besides, providing a counterargument to the idea of online courses being better than traditional courses is necessary. For example, online schools do not provide an opportunity for the student to interact with the teacher. Therefore, the type of education has been regarded as a directed learning program that lacks socialization. Again, the students have to remain focused in the teaching neglecting the social welfare of the student. The critics of online courses argue that online programs have to be taken seriously by adhering to the educational standards. Policies have been put in place to determine if an online school is accredited and if it is providing quality education to the students. Due to the logistics and requirements needed to set up an online facility, many educators have shunned away from setting up the facilities (Hamad et al. 207). Therefore, many autistic students remain at homes without attending school because they often feel they cannot fit in the traditional schools. The government has to facilitate the setting of the online schools to accommodate the growing number of autistic students.
Autism is a special need that exposes the child to challenging situations such as accessing education. Going through the traditional courses has proved to be difficult for them because of the discrimination from teachers and other students. An alternative of enrolling the students into the online schools has provided a solution to the problem. Despite online courses having advantages and disadvantages, the merits have more value, thus, asserting that online courses are better than traditional courses for young adults on the autism spectrum.

Works Cited

Hamad, Charles D., et al. "Extending the Reach of Early Intervention Training for Practitioners: A Preliminary Investigation of an Online Curriculum for Teaching Behavioral Intervention Knowledge in Autism to Families and Service Providers." Infants and Young Children, vol. 23, no. 3, 2010, pp. 195-208.
Hart, Debra, Meg Grigal, and Cate Weir. "Expanding the Paradigm: Postsecondary Education Options for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disabilities." Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, vol. 25, no. 3, 2010, pp. 109-126.
Humphrey, Neil. "Including Pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Mainstream Schools." Support for Learning, vol. 23, no. 1, 2008, pp. 41-47.
Van Bergeijk, Ernst, Ami Klein, and Fred Volkmar. "Supporting More Able Students on the Autism Spectrum: College and Beyond." Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, vol. 38, no. 7, 2008, pp. 83-110.
White, Susan Williams, Lawrence Scahill, and Kathleen Koenig. "Educational Placements and Service Use Patterns of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders." Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, vol. 37, no. 8, 2007, pp. 1403–1412.

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