Approaches to learning

Approaches to learning for Learners with Special and Additional Needs

It is widely accepted thatstudents with autism do not learn the same way that other children do. Children with such a disorder require specialised lesson plans that tackle a seemingly simple task by breaking it down into smaller sections that will beunderstandable. This prevents students with autism from feeling overwhelmed or disappointed from an overload of information at once. The creation of a lesson plan will require a full comprehension of the precise type of autism that the child has. One of the most popular theories for teaching children with autism is based primarily on positive reinforcement. As the child is repeatedly rewarded for the right answer, becomes graduallymore familiar with what is expected. Behaviour can also be eliminated or maintained by a reward system. For instance, for every 5 correct answers, thestudent can be rewarded by a few minutes of free play time with his favourite toy. The lesson plans for autistic children ought to be individualised and kept in a file for an easy organization. Each student will require various lessons in order to address the specific skills he needs to work on. For this reason, a different book with the appropriate lessons has to be specifically created for everyone.

Daily, each lesson can be worked on and the answers recorded for future quotation. When a child does not have any progress, adjustments can be made to suit the learning style of thestudent. For instance, teaching a child with autism to speak by holding up a word card is a good idea for students who are determined to be visual learners (Barnard et al., 2002). In the following lines, we will present various tips on teaching children with autism. None of these are mandatory rules since each autistic child reacts to the environment in a different way. According to Elgar (1975) it will require experimentation and careful observation in order to see which of these is most efficient.

* Decide, which learning style best suits thestudent with autism, and emphasize that approach of learning and communication. For instance, in the case of a child who is ignoring the teacher, there can be adopted two possible different learning styles: a) if the child is a visual learner the teacher might show him his seat or a picture of a chair to help him understand it is the right time to sit down. B) If the child is a kinaesthetic learner, the teacher might lead him over to his seat with a light pressure on his shoulders.

* It is common for an autistic student to be unable to process different sensory inputs simultaneously. For instance, it may be impossible to process both visual and auditory data at the same time. In that case, teachers can separate the teaching into "channels" and focus solely on one sense at a time.

* If the student has a visual sensitivity, teachers can use natural light from a window and use laptop or flat-panel computer screens.

* If the student has an auditory sensitivity,the bell, or even the teacher's voice might seem like someone is shouting in his ear. In that situation, the teacher might need to speak more softly, specifically when addressing the student directly.

The plan will cover the course “Shopping”. It is referring to six pupils who are in the second grade of elementary school. All children display some degree of challenging behaviour. The plan will be based on the followings:

* Presentation of a lesson template about Mathematics/Applied Math


I am going to use this lesson to give the students an opportunity to practice what they have learned about money.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

Ø Practice counting skills

Ø Link mathematical concepts with real life situations and activities

Ø Find and read the price of the product.

Ø Decide which products are going to buy.

Ø Determine if they have enough money for the item.


The children are being taught in their classroom in order to provide stability and familiar surroundings.




Tape recorder,empty soup cans, cereal boxes,juice boxes, and stickers to use as price tags on products, or cards with prices to label the shelves where the products are.


The children are going to sit in a semi-circle. Cupboards and screens are used to block out distractions and define group area. Relaxing music is usually played in the background to promote a calm atmosphere.


Ø Pupils will sit around the table.

Ø We will give to each child a set amount of money. The particular

coins given to each student is determined by which coins have already been introduced to them and who of them have prior experience in counting. Beginners start only with pennies.

Ø Then, each child is going to visit the “store”.

Ø In the “store” the students will count their money and will decide

what to buy while the teacher supervisors and encourages them. A student helper will be the store clerk, who will take the money from each student.

Ø When the activity is going to finish, the teacher will take the students

on a small trip in the town to practice these skills. Each child is responsible for paying the correct amount of money upon boarding the bus, and in the case they bring a small amount of money, they can actually buy something from the store. This activity is good just before the Christmas holidays, as it affords the children a chance to shop gifts for their family members.


All children are required to stay with the group throughout the session. If one child though, is finding difficulties during the lesson, he may be removed to another activity, until he is calm enough to complete the activity.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Ø To take turns in the activity

Ø To practice counting skills

There is an emphasis on highly visual resources. The specific activity is used to provide children with practice opportunities prior to going into the community and do _ their shopping, building on the characteristic strengths of the learner with autism.

Mesibov (2005) argues that, the TEACCH approach has served thousands of individuals and families involved with the challenges and problems of the autism spectrum. The approach's mission, priorities, services and practices are the product of the thoughtful, dedicated work and contributions of many faculties and staff.

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