An Approach to Teaching Autistic Children by M. P. Everard

By M. P. Everard

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The next stage is naming objects or activities in pictures. The hardest task is defining a series of words, including nouns, verbs and one adjective. ". The child is not given any score if he demonstrates by gesture instead of using words as some children with Dowen's syndrome (mongolism) may do. The "content" section, according to Reynell, "assesses the more creative use of language". In order to obtain a high score the child 48 An Approach to Teaching Autistic Children must be able to verbalize connected thoughts.

Self care (a) Mobility (i) Can the child walk without help? Can he run as well as other children of his age? (ii) Can he walk upstairs and downstairs without help? (iii) Is he able to climb with agility? (iv) Can he pedal a tricycle or a bicycle? (b) Feeding (i) Does he have to be fed, or can he feed himself with his fingers, a spoon, spoon and fork, or knife and fork? Can he help himself to food when at table? Can he cut a slice of bread from a loaf? (ii) How good are his table manners? (iii) Are there any problems with chewing?

Once these events have been clearly identified it is then possible to use them to adapt the child's behaviour so that he learns skills more rapidly and shows fewer undesirable behaviours. (c) Indirect factors influencing behaviour It is also necessary for the teacher to be aware that other and less obvious aspects of the child's environment may influence his behaviour. The teacher may find that a child who usually responds well in the teaching situation may suddenly become irritable and lose interest if the teacher himself is tired or ill, or under additional strain.

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