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Adapting and modifying a classroom environment for children with Autism
Adapting and modifying a classroom environment for children with Autism to allow the best
quality education to be performed with no interference from outside sources or environmental classroom design restrictions.
- Given appropriate information and specific classroom details, each learner will re-create a classroom environment at the end of the course using 5 learned strategies, tools, or techniques.
- Given a topic for each lesson the learner will reflect their knowledge and experiences into a weekly journal, following the journal requirements with 100% accuracy.
- Given an actual classroom picture, the learners will demonstrate their knowledge on classroom hazards and structure by identifying 7 out of 10 objects that don’t belong.
- Given a sensory object/toy, the learners will explain in a 200-250 word paper of why this item is important and how they would use and incorporate this into their classroom to better the learning environment for a student with Autism with 80% accuracy.
The unorganized, unprepared materials, few resources and assistance, lack of knowledge and trainings of specific fields, especially educational fields, hinders the capabilities to facilitate differentiation of every student/child’s needs. As many of these areas cause stress and anxiety among teachers and professionals, the same is brought among the student’s/children within that same environment. Supporting this thought, the article, Classroom Activities That Help Reduce Stress in Children states that “Children and adults experience stress, which is the body's reaction to experiences throughout the day.”(Frost, 2011) To set up our students rate of success, we must create an area, space and environment that falls within their personal needs and is easily accessible to benefit their goals.
In my experience of not only teaching but also within a professional working environment that pertains to the diverse play facility for all children of every need and age. I came across how little focus is among students with disabilities (especially those with Autism). I was able to personally observe how children with disabilities were hindered by the few to none adaptations that were made to invest in their experience. As many educators know and have been given extra support on producing positive classroom environments for all learners covering the physiological environment of a classroom. Educators also know how to make their classrooms fun, attracting and appropriate; but how functional is it? These qualities are not all that is needed in making a successful classroom environment. Environments need to visually specify and consist of a variety of needs by accommodating personal interests, materials and layouts that will pursue the end result of providing for that child. With such lack of knowledge, preparations and accessible materials and layouts of the space, can tremendously hinder the full potential and experience of the child. Overall, more is needed from educators and professionals in creating and applying these strategies and methods in their environment to incorporate better suited environment structures, provide beneficial materials and the overall knowledge needed that regards to an educational environment or any space that deals with an investment of children to be concise.
What is to be learned:
The educators taking this course will learn how to apply newly adapted information, research, strategies, materials, techniques and knowledge on modifying and creating safe intriguing spaces. All in which will accustom the specific needs of children/student(s) with Autism that can be incorporated into their own classroom setting(s).
This course targets educational learners of any age who are actively in an educational population for children with autism or for any learner who seek to gain more knowledge of how to adapt and modify a classroom for children with Autism.
Fully functioning and accessible internet, with the use of a supporting device will be a necessity in completely this fully online course. This course can be done in any environment that best suit’s the learner, as all materials needed to finish this course successfully will be found within the course.
Exploring the Problems and Solutions:
The learners will follow, invest, discuss and participate within the many aspects of the online course that will propel them into a common problem area found with in educational and professional environments. Engaging as a class through, activities, personal experiences, reflections, research and easily accessible learning information provided to the learners within the course; will allow each learner to find information that will lead to possible solutions of modifications and adaptations within corresponding environments.
Within this course the learners will be able to understand the necessity of accommodating and knowing the different needs of children/students with Autism within a classroom or professional space. By learning the techniques and knowledge of understanding Autism, sensory diets and how to incorporate sensory, creating safe spaces and blueprints; at the end of the course the learners will be able to incorporate all their newly learned knowledge and understanding to modify a given classroom/space environment.
- We shall be breaking this course up into different sections, allotting specific time and focus on the following lesson topics
General Outcomes: At the end of the unit, learners will have a better understanding of how to prepare and incorporate new strategies and equipment into a classroom for sensory sensitive students with Autism. The learners will also create, adapt and modify a given classroom for a specified classroom while including a student and staff hazard free environment. .
Module 1 Introduction Classroom Environment
- Learners will be able to notice the different areas to take into consideration when developing a new classroom environment: physical environment, psychological environment, the role of the teacher and classroom climate.
Module 2 Understanding Autism, their Needs and Risks
- Learners will briefly discuss the definition of Autism, and will then indicate the support and the needs of these students.
- Learners will distinguish how to identify and reduce risks in student and staff classrooms
Module 3 Sensory Diets
- Learners will discover the importance of incorporating sensory diets for students with Autism.
- Learners will explore the different toys and equipment used for sensory diets.
- Learners will evaluate the key ingredients to developing a sensory diet.
Module 4 Classroom Blueprints
- Learners will see different classroom environment set-ups and different equipment to create different learning environments throughout the classroom.
Reflection and Modification Modifying Classroom Environments
- Learners will create and implement their knowledge of sensory diets, Autism and classroom safety by modifying a given classroom to incorporate all tools needed to create a better learning environment.
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References and Resources
Frost, S. (2011, March 31). Classroom Activities That Help Reduce Stress in Children. LIVESTRONG.COM. Retrieved October 5, 2014, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/222964-classroom-activities-that-help-reduce-stress-in-children/