Impact of Autism Spectrum Disorder on Students and Education

Summary of Disability

Autism spectrum disorder is (ASD) is a developmental disability, which appears in the form of social communication deflects. An individual also shows a reparative, stereotypical behavior in activities and interests, which continue in future life. Frequently, people with ASD experience social anxiety, severe irritability, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, and intellectual disability. Medical conditions commonly reported include immune system abnormalities, gastrointestinal disease, mitochondrial dysfunction, sleep disorders, and epilepsy (Masi, DeMayo, Glozier & Guastella, 2017).

Autism Spectrum disorder affects most of the person’s life spheres, including education, health, social interaction, employment, and many others. To this day, the exact causes of ASD remain unclear. Still, scientists are certain that genetic and environmental factors are some that cause children to have this illness and that ASD is also a result of early-altered brain development and neural reorganization.

Primary signs of the disease are usually shown at the period of a child’s early development stage. However, social and behavioral symptoms are unapparent until their first social experiences. Doctors make a diagnosis according to the analysis of children’s social behavior and the evaluation of the difficulties an individual showed in the early development aspects, including sensory behavioral-motor deflects. Although there is no specific scenario, doctors follow to assess the condition of Autism spectrum disorder, so the diagnosis is solely made on the evaluation of a behavioral basis.

A case study conducted by the clinic in a book by Goldstein and Ozonoff (2018) refers to a 4-year-old boy Joey whose parents brought him in for a checkup, concerned with self-control problems. With no previous history of ASD in the family, Joey was showing repetitive movements and peculiar behavior. Even though a boy achieved many developmental milestones, he showed lateness in language advancement.

He also preferred playing alone instead of with other children, often in repetitive activities like lining up of toys. After thorough evaliation, doctors diagnosed attention challenges, and emotional liability. Joey’s teachers also observed many difficulties in social behavior and activities. However, the toddler did not resist social interactions, only preferred to be on his own. After careful assessment, doctors discovered notable delays in speech development. For a 4-year-old Joey, his speech was at a 2-year-old level. Taking into consideration all the facts above, Joey got diagnosed with Autistic spectrum disorder.

Children with such disorders often have trouble in social interaction and tend to avoid it. However, there have been cases wherein adulthood people diagnosed with ASD managed to minimize the symptoms to where they do not fulfill the diagnostic criteria of ASD anymore. The percentage of such individuals is small, but they show significant results in managing ASD. People who conquered Autistic spectrum disorder had an IQ in the average range, had friends, and were living independently, moreover were employed (Howlin & Magiati, 2017). The improvement indicated in adulthood does not exclude rather small continual difficulties within social activities and emotional specter.

Impact on a Student

For children with an autistic spectrum disorder, academic achievements become incredibly challenging. For kids with this specific illness, it is hard to find friends among their peers; they tend to be closed up, shy and unable to support the conversation. Individuals with such disease are usually not entirely able to recognize and control emotions, so they cannot adequately assess the emotional spectrum of communications.

A similar situation happens in the classroom where a student with ASD cannot comprehend the information and present their thoughts to the public in a certain emotionally colored way. They can recognize basic emotions of happiness and sadness but struggle with acknowledging fear or anger. Therefore, the social life of people with autistic spectrum disorder is exceptionally different from the other. They require special attention and a level of understanding to establish a strong relationship fully.

As for communication, children with autism spectrum disorder do not have the same skills those other kids of their age. They prefer to spend time alone and avoid interaction with the real world; that is why they rarely establish friendships or make acquaintances. He or she also prefers to follow the same routine continually, and transforming it may trigger them. Such children need constant attention and evaluation of their mental health, as the symptoms could worsen or better over time.

Many programs aid in managing ASD for both parents and children; they offer help in managing mental health issues as well as support in educating children with an autistic spectrum disorder. Consulting with a doctor may aid determine the most effective one for one’s child. Such programs give parents the guidance to understand that they are not alone and gives them the ability to share their own experiences with other parents.

For children, it is a great space where they can be themselves and feel equal, where everyone has the same struggles. According to Lord, Elsabbagh, Baird & Veenstra-Vanderweele, life for many children and adults with ASD is improved today compared with 50 years ago. More adults with ASD can talk, read, drive, graduate from school, and live in the community. Evidently, with every year, life for people with ASD becomes easier (Lord, Elsabbagh, Baird, & Veenstra-Vanderweele, 2018).

Living with autistic spectrum disorder is hard but manageable; youngsters face many difficulties as they are growing up; they differ from others and require constant medical attention. Having a sibling helps a child with autistic spectrum disorder go through the challenges of life smoother. Brothers or sisters can contribute to adapting to social communication and can make them more talkative and less awkward in social situations. Social life becomes a never-ending challenge for people with autistic spectrum syndrome, especially at a young age. However, having constant support and urge to become better every day makes their life more comfortable and let them feel loved and valued.

Impact on Education

The teaching process for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder can be challenging for both teachers and students. Children and young people with the autism spectrum often need a routine to understand the information around them properly. This peculiarity often causes difficulties with the educational process. Thus, he or she can find unstructured times, such as lunch and break times, particularly tricky. They need longer to process information and can also find socializing and communicating challenging (“Classroom – National Autistic Society,” 2017). Still, with the qualified individual education teacher, a child with ASD may show a significant improvement in academic skills.

Usually, autistic kids face much more academic struggles than their peers do and find it hard to perform successfully on tests and other evaluations. Moreover, the IQ of children with autistic spectrum disorder is shown to be considerably lower than the average students. According to Vuong and Hsiao (2017), ASD affects one in 45 children in the United States. It is a significant number of children who struggle with an education every day.

However, if children attend qualified special education classes, their progress in getting rid of some symptoms of ASD may rise remarkably. Students with disabilities should have access to special education classes in school where they can feel included and equal in society. “The reason why children with ASD perform much worse on testing and examinations is their different perceptions and social problems, particularly language and attention deficits common among them, primarily when testing was conducted before age six years” (Baio et al., 2018).

It is essential to provide children with autistic spectrum disorder with proper technology to make their educational process easier. Many autistic people are visual thinkers, so graphic features and images may help absorb the material much better. Besides, many individuals with ASD respond better to lower sounds, adjusting the voice to a comfortable volume can immensely improve the process of studying. Motor skills may be a challenge to many children with ASD, and handwriting can turn out rather difficult for them. Using keyboards or drawing can help reduce frustration.

Special education classes at school make a significant impact on kids with ASD. They encourage special kids to develop academic skills on the level where he or she progresses like a typically developing child, as well as progress in social skills because they are consistently among other people. If a child with autism is put into a public school with no special education classes, they may require personal support – a specific person who helps to learn without falling out or distracting. In addition to regular courses, most children with autism receive some therapies (usually speech, occupational, and physical therapy). With appropriate aid and careful attention, children with autistic spectrum disorder can attend private school and have the same social experience as their peers.

Conclusion

Autistic spectrum disorder is a severe illness that affects not only the child but also his or her surroundings. Such children require constant attention and monitoring especially in the academic surrounding. Kids with autistic spectrum disorder who have individual guidance at school may significantly better their health condition. People with ASD continue to face many challenges throughout their life, both socially and educationally. However, continual work on recovery may immensely improve the state of a child.

References

Baio, J., Wiggins, L., Christensen, D., Maenner, M., Daniels, J., & Warren, Z. et al. (2018). Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. Surveillance Summaries, 67(6), 1-23.

Classroom – National Autistic Society. (2017). In the classroom. Web.

Goldstein, S., & Ozonoff, S. (2018). Assessment of autism spectrum disorder (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Publications Inc.

Howlin, P., & Magiati, I. (2017). Autism spectrum disorder. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 30(2), 69-76. Web.

Lord, C., Elsabbagh, M., Baird, G., & Veenstra-Vanderweele, J. (2018). Autism spectrum disorder. The Lancet, 392(10146), 508–520. Web.

Masi, A., DeMayo, M. M., Glozier, N., & Guastella, A. J. (2017). An overview of autism spectrum disorder, heterogeneity and treatment options. Neuroscience Bulletin, 33(2), 183-193.

Vuong, H., & Hsiao, E. (2017). Emerging roles for the gut microbiome in autism spectrum disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 81(5), 411-423.