Special Education of Children with Autism

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The author discusses the communication deficits faced by kids with autism. Children with autism in grades k-12 display lower levels of communication and have trouble understanding social interactions involving classmates, family members and teachers (Kamps et al., 2014). In forming relationships with others, these children encounter difficulties and thus tend to remain alone. Their need for solitude hinders their ability to learn, and so they do not produce emotions and social signals. While some K-12 students with autism may be involved in communicating and engaging with others, it is difficult for them to communicate their feelings (Kamps et al., 2014). Furthermore, the article analyses the deficits students with autism experience in development of interpersonal skills.  As such, the author develops a review of the social interactions that predetermine peer mediation information of social networks (Kamps et al., 2014). The author proposes for evidence-based practices that can be used as strategies to improve communication and social skills for such students.

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the impact of peer network intervention as a strategy to improve learning for the k-12 students (Kamps et al., 2014). Besides, the study purposed to express the impact of peer network on the communicative ability of the elementary students with autism. The study reviewed scripted lessons that targeted expansion of social skills through monitoring how the participants used specific skills in social interaction. The participants for the study were randomly selected from the larger pool of k-12 students after the approval by the Institutional Review Board at the university. The participants were evaluated under free play and scripted play within speech therapy and resource room. Games that aimed at peer participation were used to determine how the participants would be involved in the games (Kamps et al., 2014).

The results showed that the introduction of the intervention increased the communicative acts of the participants. Furthermore, the implementation of the initiations as peer networks increased social interaction among the participants (Kamps et al., 2014). Based on the result, the authors concluded that social communication is essential in the learning intervention for k-12 students with autism. Since the study showed positive outcomes, the authors find it prudent to pose that evidence-based practice has the likelihood to improve the social and communication skills for students with autism. Besides, the use of visual text and cues improves the propensity for feedback for the students in first grade with autism (Kamps et al., 2014).  Therefore, development of visual cues and peer network where the setting involves students with autism will impact positively on the learning and the social behavior of the students with autism.

When working with students and individuals with autism, it is critical to understand that their perception of social interaction is hindered. As such, various practices can be put in place to ensure their communication and social skills are improved. One of the means is the introduction of cooperative play and peer-mediated plays in which they will engage in close interaction with others with or without the disability (Kamps et al., 2014). As a result, the individuals will learn to work and develop emotions towards others without feeling left out. Also, the initiation of scripted practice for the students with autism will increase their physical perception. The scripted practice has to involve the presentation of visual cues like cards that develop the attention of the child and hence prompting the focus of the child (Kamps et al., 2014).

The article examines the application of the peer network in the educational setting. As such, the article is useful for the educational purposes as it poses the different practices that can be applied by instructors in instructing the students with autism. For instance, the proposition for direct practice in which the instructor involved the participants in normal instruction through verbal means can be applied in an educational setting by the instructors to provide scheduled instructions in a language understood by the student best (Kamps et al., 2014).  Moreover, the findings of the study offer a basis for future studies on autism and how network peer can increase the social skills of the child. The authors have also provided a basis for performance review and reinforcement which can be utilized by instructors in the motivation of students in an educational setting.

Educators can apply the information presented in the article to interpret the social behavior demonstrated by students and individuals with autism in the school and social setting. Besides, the article has informed educators on the essence of peer interaction in shaping the communication and interpersonal skills of people with autism (Kamps et al., 2014). Furthermore, my understanding of autism has broadened as I have discovered that the individuals with autism do not intend to be alone, but keep to themselves because they cannot find a proper way to express their emotions. Therefore, as an educator, it is vital to engage the students with autism in social activities and peers free play so that they can improve their communication and social skills.

Reference

Kamps, D., Mason, R., Thiemann-Bourque, K., Feldmiller, S., Turcotte, A., & Miller, T. (2014). The use of peer networks to increase communicative acts of students with autism spectrum disorders. Focus on autism and other developmental disabilities, 29(4), 230-245. Retrieved      20 September 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4547562/

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