According to the Center for Disease Control’s latest stats (March 28, 2014) on the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) among children aged 8 years, one in 68 now have some type of ASD. Many of whom are those with higher functioning Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome who are matriculating to higher education and will continue to at increasing rates. This presentation provides insight on what ASDs are, relates common strengths and challenges associated with this population; and, shares emerging instructional approaches that assist learning while improving retention and graduation rates for all students.
Goals and Target Audience:
Target Audience: Instructors, GTAs
1. Audience participants will gain an understanding of what Autism Spectrum Disorders are and what they are not.
1.1. ASDs defined
1.2. Growing numbers and how this impacts institutes of higher education
1.3. Dispelling myths associated with ASDs
1.4. Common strengths and challenges as related to academics and campus life
1.5. The many variances: a couple case studies
2. Participants will learn some of the emerging instructional approaches that foster learning and growth for students with Asperger’s while also benefiting all students.
2.1. Importance of structure: syllabus, assignments, expectations, procedures, guidelines, changes in routine
2.2. Emotional climate: reducing stress/anxiety- triggers, one-on-one check in, preparation
2.3. Environmental factors: lighting, positioning, stimuli – sights and sounds
2.4. Promoting successful group teaching/learning experiences
2.5. Encouraging self-advocacy, a key indicator of success.
3. Participants will be informed of campus and online available resources.