The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

04 June 2009

Using Music and Visuals in Teaching Academic Subjects and Lifeskills to Children with Autism

Mr. Charles Slye with a boy holding a communication device

Charles Slye has been a special education teacher in San Francisco, U.S.A for the last ten years. He teaches in a classroom specifically designed for students with autism. He earned his special education credential at San Francisco State University and is being sponsored by the Autism Hearts Foundation to give seminars and workshops for Autism Society Philippines during the summer of 2009.

Children with autism often have difficulties processing information given to them in lecture format. Many have auditory processing challenges and a low motivation to listen to academic material presented verbally by an instructor. Many of these students are highly motivated by music and have high visual processing memorization skills. Presenting academic material in a consistent song format and using visuals to accompany the material leads to higher retention of knowledge.

This seminar will show examples of how music and visuals can be used to enhance academic curriculum in all subjects. Video of children with autism in a classroom setting will show examples of attention span differences when material is presented in traditional lecture style and also when it is presented in song format.

Examples of classroom activities will be conducted where attendees will get to watch various lessons presented with music and visuals. Presenter will also give tips on how to find and make academic curriculum with music and visual accompaniment.

Attendees will use music and visuals provided by presenter to conduct lessons within groups. Presenter will model and instruct attendees how to conduct simple lessons for their colleagues in the workshop. Lessons are all within the songs and visuals, so “instructors” will need to do little more than point to their visuals.

Theories and use of visuals within numbers will also be discussed in workshop. Attendees will get a chance to learn how to use visual touch points on numbers to assist children with autism when doing number computations, commonly referred to as “Touch Math.”

The use of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) devices to promote communication from nonverbal students during these lessons will also be reviewed. Attendees will be given the opportunity to learn about uses for these devices during instructional time in the classroom.

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