How to Effectively Improve Learning Outcomes in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Mainstream Classrooms

Presented by: Rob O’Brien

Teacher PD Event Information: 6 Teacher PD Hours       

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Recent research indicates that most students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) do better in mainstream classrooms when key stakeholders have an understanding of the triad of impairment experienced by students with ASD. Key themes seem to be attitudes to inclusion, the characteristics of social communication and ASD and interaction with the school environment (International Journal of Inclusive Education, 2016) The number of people who are diagnosed with ASD continues to rise in Australia. Autism is now 31% of NDIS participants, the largest disability group in the scheme according to recent the National Disability Insurance Scheme Quarterly Report issued in June 2015 (Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, 2015). The prevalence of ASD in school aged children is now 1:100, with boys five times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.

Children with autism can present challenges for many classroom teachers across Australia because of their many needs both in terms of their social and communication needs as well as, at times, their repetitive and stereotyped behaviours (Prof Sylvia Rogers, Autism Research Centre, 2015).

The January 2016 Federal Government Senate Report, ‘Education of Students with Disabilities’ recommends that teachers of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder undertake quality professional development, specific training, access to appropriate resources and tools. ‘Teachers will have enhanced coping mechanisms and will feel more satisfied and confident that they can manage and relate to the needs of students with autism. The educational approaches utilised to enhance the learning of students with autism will also have a broader application and will be able to be successfully applied and utilised with all learners in classrooms using universal design for learning principles (p. 31)

This seminar:

  • Will focus on supporting classroom teachers of students with ASD and other pervasive developmental disorders within the learning environment – including the Positive Partnerships online relevant web resources.
  • Will provide current, evidence based information on ASD and its effect on learning outcomes.
  • Will share effective learning and teaching strategies and resources that will enhance participation of students with ASD in classroom settings – including Positive Partnerships formats, matrices and other classroom friendly handouts.
  • Will explore how to teach students with ASD within a mainstream classroom through effective inclusive teaching via differentiated strategies specifically designed for students with ASD.
  • Numerous classroom examples will be demonstrated and discussed including ICT.

Research in the area has consistently shown that best-practice teaching for students with disability is in fact best-practice teaching for all students (The Senate Report p. 75, 5.6) Please bring a profile of a student diagnosed with ASD and a lesson plan that may be used to document differentiated instruction.

Event Details:

  3rd November, 2017
  9.30am - 3.30pm (Reg. from 8.30am)

New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites
73 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane QLD

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  Target Audience: Teachers / Teacher Assistants Primary / Secondary -all levels
  $306.90 GST Incl.

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About the Presenter

Rob O’Brien is a primary and secondary teacher and an artist. His M Ed included working with marginalised youth in multiple settings using art making to create transformational change impacting better mental health, well-being and engagement in learning. Rob has worked on youth programs in Australia and the USA with visual artists, Mexican mural artist, writers, experimental poet and performing arts personnel focusing on social, cultural and learning challenges experienced by children and adolescents. Rob’s experience includes using visual art with school staff to develop policy. His work in classrooms with students making to help higher order thinking, improved attention and better learning outcomes is highly sought. Rob is a facilitator of mindfulness with visual art.

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