Role of Special Educator Teacher
World Autism Awareness Day
By: M Ahmad
World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day being observed on 2 April every year, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about people with autistic spectrum disorders including autism and Asperger syndrome throughout the world. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder aracterized by behavioraland communicational affections that impact a person’sability to navigate social interactions and also causes repetitive and restricted behavior.
According to a recent report, about 1 in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). India has the largest number of autistic children (8,51,000), followed by China (4,22,000), Poland has the least 3/10,000. Roughly 23 of every 10,000 children in India have autism, according to the first rigorous estimate of the country’s autism prevalence. The first case report of autism appeared in an Indian journal in 1962.
Special educators are important team members in the rehabilitation of children with autism. They are professionals who work for children with disabilities (including autism) on a day-to-day basis. Children with autism present with unique learning characteristics that differ widely from typical learning children as well as children with other types of disabilities. It is, thus, crucial for special educators to update their knowledge regarding identification and management of children with autism.
Special educators should possess knowledge regarding most of the strategies that must be considered as part of the educational programming for children with autism. They should also have specifically knowledge relating to the purpose of in-home and community-based training for children with autism and in determining the teacher-to-student ratio for children with autism.
The special educator should ensure the involvement of parents of students with additional requisites in the educational processes of their children. They should collaborate closely with teachers, other professionals and administrators to foster the teaching and learning of students with additional requisites.
The special educator should develop skills, concepts and behaviors related directly to the disability or challenges of students with additional requisites that should take place inside the school. They should ensure the involvement of parents of students with additional requisites in the educational processes of their children.
The special educator should collaborate closely with teachers, other professionals and administrators to foster the teaching and learning of students with additional requisites.
Positive teacher attitudes are an important predictor of the successful education of children with disabilities, including those with autism spectrum disorders.
Educators serving these students must possess autism-specific knowledge and demonstrate methods that fit into best practice. Working with autistic children is both a joy and a challenge. Because autistic students struggle with communication and social interaction, teaching requires skills that go beyond the realm of most educators. The teacher’s dedication to the students serves as a huge confidence builder for them. A teacher’s dedication can bridge the gap in meeting the needs of these unique students.
The teachers and educators should boost the morale of the children by introducing them to the people all over the world with same conditions who made a mark in the society thus transforming their condition into their strength.
Here are a few examples of a few brilliant minds who have been diagnosed to come under autistic spectrum, but that didn’t stop them from changing the world.
Charles Darwin: The father of modern biology had autism which gave him the ability to hyper focus.
Emily Dickinson: The impassioned poet had Asperger’s syndrome which renders people to be awkward socially but her words flew like all encompassing rivers.
Dan Aykroyd: The popular Comedian Actor was diagnosed by the doctor with mild Asperger’s Syndrome as a child.
Lewis Carroll: The author of the children’s classic Alice in Wonderland was actually autistic with poor communication.
Henry Cavendish: A natural philosopher, chemist, and physicist, is most famous as the discoverer of hydrogen, has been autistic.
Bobby Fischer: Bobby Fischer, the Chess Grandmaster and World Chess Champion, is said to have had Asperger’s Syndrome in addition to paranoid schizophrenia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Austrian philosopher is another inspiring historical figure who very likely had autism
Dr. Vernon Smith: A professor of economics who won a Nobel Prize in 2002 for his achievements in the field of experimental economics is an autistic person.
Satoshi Tajiri: He is the brain behind the creation and development of Pokémon and many other games, is with an autistic condition.
Dr. Temple Grandin: This professor of Animal Sciences has been called the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism.
Tony DeBlois: He is a prolific musician who has been diagnosed with autism. Despite his conditions, he has mastered more than 20 musical instruments.
Pranav Bakshi: Embraced autism as his superpower at an early age, and is now India’s first model with autism.
Prem Sankar: The young man from Chennai in Tamil Nadu and diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder at the age of five, launched codewithprem.in, a digital brand under which he builds websites for small businesses and events.
Justin Hansen: A lumbering kid with Aspergers, a famous football player.
The number of persons who defeated Autism is countless and some are unknown. The above named personalities are for the inspiration of other such persons especially the children.
The teachers, educators and parents of the children, with such conditions, should make every effort to convince these children that what they seem lacking in is actually their strength. These children need special attention and understanding.
– The writer is Principal (I/C) Abhedananda Home, Higher Secondary Institution for Specially-abled Children, Solina, Rambagh, Srinagar, J&K. He can be reached at [email protected]