Autistic Children In Mainstream Schools Essay

3058 words - 12 pages

“The current prevalence rates of Autism Spectrum Disorders range from 0.5 to 6.7 per 1,000 among children ages 3 through 10 years” (Shtayermman 88). With this dramatic change in the frequency of autism comes the development of special education schools and, in turn, a rise in the presence of autistic children in a general classroom setting. While many think that a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, in attendance at a regular school would be beneficial to the child in question, there are instances where it would be unwise to place them in such an environment. Considering the characteristics of children with ASD, the victimization they go through in a regular classroom, and the lack of knowledge amongst teachers, the experiences of children with autism in mainstream schools may not always be beneficial to their wellbeing.
Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning the symptoms and characteristics associated with the disorder vary from child to child. All individuals on the autistic spectrum share a common difficulty in making sense of the world, whether they are diagnosed with “classic” autism, which is on the lower end of the autistic spectrum, or with Asperger’s Syndrome, a higher functioning form of autism (Humphrey 41). Some of the characteristics that are recurrent with cases of autism involve the lack of social interaction and their frequent aggressive behavior. The occurrence of severe mood swings or tantrums for no apparent reason are quite common in children diagnosed with autism. Something that may cause for these episodes can be a change in their routine, for it would be greatly distressing for a flux in their daily life. The most noticeable traits in children with autism are their inability to make eye contact, their social seclusion, and their trouble with communicating with others. Communication for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder can be difficult in numerous ways. Since they have difficulty in understanding the rules of conversation when they are speaking, there is an inability to link phrases together, sometimes repeating words or expressions out of context. Along with communication with others, children with ASD find it difficult to understand group interactions. This is often the reason why many of them are without friends; there is a preference of remaining aloof in the mind of a child with autism.
The quality of life for a child with autism in mainstream schools is definitely at odds with how the school itself is structured. Due to changes in educational policies over the last decade, there are increasing numbers of children with ASD that are being educated in a regular classroom setting. Many may deem this inclusion as being positive for those students, but there are faults that accompany these types of circumstances, the reason being that many schools do not have the capacity to keep pace with such changes in order to include children with ASD. Many teachers find it tough to merge the academic talents...

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