School–we all go through it. School is where a child learns how to socialize, interact, succeed, make mistakes, and take on responsibility. It can be more of a struggle for some than others, though. Specifically, children with autism face a significant amount of challenges in the typical school because of a lack of understanding and support. In order to change this, more autism interventions must be placed in the school system to help these students excel.
New study shows the struggle for students with autism
Students with autism deal with unique issues. While many neurotypical students may consider themselves “awkward” in school, students with autism generally have a difficult time reading social cues and developing relationships with others. This can make academic success hard–even for a child with high functioning autism.
This is exactly what a new large study by the University of California, Riverside focused on. In the study, researchers looked at the effects of the student-teacher relationship on academic success. It was discovered that strong student-teacher bonds were a predictor of future academic success in school.
The study involved 5 to 7 year olds with autism, around 85 percent having high functioning autism. The researchers found that students with autism had a significantly more difficult time forming bonds with the teacher. They believe this may be due to a lack of training and understanding on the teacher’s side, which could be a call for more autism interventions in schools.
Jan Blacher, Professor and Director of the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center, explained why school can be particularly challenging for children with autism:
“When children with autism come to school, they are already struggling to make social and emotional connections, and when that affects their relationships with teachers it feels like a double whammy. A major goal that follows from this research is educating and supporting teachers so they understand how important their interactions with children are during this transitional time.”
More autism interventions needed in schools
No, not all teachers can be psychologists, but they can be trained to understand the needs of teens with autism. Teens with high functioning autism often find themselves in a tight spot when it comes to school–they don’t need help academically, they need help socially, and regular schools just don’t offer that up.
If teachers were properly trained to understand and work with students that have autism, student-teacher relationships could be more of a reality in the autism world. Social skills are incredibly important for overall development, which should make it a priority for the school system since the goal is to help students grow and become educated. Barriers to that goal should be assessed and fixed to the system’s best ability.
Seven Stars is here for your family
Seven Stars is a program that combines residential treatment with adventure therapy to create a multifaceted, effective program for adolescents, ages 13 to 18, struggling with emotional and behavioral issues as a result of their neurodevelopmental disorder.
We embed the objectives we have for each student into daily activities and teach emotional wellness skills such as conflict resolution, problem solving, social skills, academic skills, self-efficacy and prosocial behaviors. At Seven Stars, we strive to create autism interventions for teens to develop the skills necessary to live full, productive lives.
For more information about autism interventions at Seven Stars, contact us today at 844-601-1167.
Since 2003, Dr. Gordon Day has passionately helped young people with a wide range of family, emotional, social, neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems. Gordon’s mission has been to help people find their strengths and their own passion for living a full and rewarding life. He is particularly sensitive to the pressures, frustrations and disappointments that adolescents face that can sometimes cause them and their loved ones to want to withdraw and throw their hands up in despair.
Dr. Day knows that you really have to understand where a student is coming from and understand their patterns of strengths and needs. When we truly know an individual and their struggles, only then can we truly help.
Dr. Day has pioneered the use of outdoor therapy activities and outdoor living as a dynamic and effective therapeutic tool for learning, confidence building and skill building. His programs provide effective, supportive and encouraging environments that help students find their strengths and power.