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Adaptations for Autism

1. Perhaps one of the most important adaptations might be a “stimulus shelter.” According to Professor Trawick- Smith these are spaces in the classroom where a child can go to get away from environmental stimuli and social interaction (1992). Because individuals with autism often display sensitivity to noises, touching, and light, a shelter may help the child deal with over stimulation. This would also be a “retreat” from social interaction which might allow the child some much needed time to be alone. It is also important to provide the child frequent opportunities and enough room to move around when necessary.

2. Set up the environment to reduce visual and auditory stimulation for the child when necessary. An example of this might be to place shelves and furniture in a way that creates a barrier from more active and distracting activities and areas.

3. Break cards could be used along with the stimulus shelter. These cards are a visual representation indicating that the child needs a break possibly to ease frustration. The child can hand the card to the teacher to indicate that some down time is needed.

4. Communication boards may be used to assist children that have limited verbal ability. With a board a child is able to point to various pictures to communicate with others

5. Computers can aid children in communication as well as in completing class work when writing and language skills are limited

6. Social Stories is another assistive technology that helps the child learn about social situations and behaviors to use during interaction with others. Social Stories are designed for each individual and are used to help the child with their behavior, as well as helping the child learn how other individuals might respond. An example that is given in the Assistive Technology article is staying in an assigned seat on the bus. The stories are written in a way that is understandable to th...

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