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Autistic Children in Early Childhood and Elementary Classrooms: Strategies for Teachers and Parents

By Jeremy Shock

To many, autism is one of the most mysterious of childhood disabilities, and it is the most common of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders. One out of every 150 newborns will have some form of autism (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007). Due to inconsistencies in diagnosis and terminology use before the late ’70s, little was known about the disorder, and many myths resulted from this lack of information. For instance, in the past, autism was closely paired with schizophrenia and mental retardation. Modern research aids in the better understanding of this fascinating disorder and discounts many of the myths and misconceptions of autism. In addition, new methods of treatment are available, and many are adapted for use in the home and school. This presentation will focus on the history and characteristics of autism, the types of autism, and the treatment options for children with autism. Additionally, strategies for assisting autistic children in elementary classrooms will be discussed.

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