St Joseph's Special School,, Tallaght, Dublin
Autism, Communication and Motivation for Students in the Special School
For individuals who have autism and learning difficulties, the difficulties relating to communication can often be magnified. Many children and young people with autism have significant difficulties with speaking, language and communication.
This session will examine why students with autism experience difficulty not only with communication but also the motivation to communicate thus impinging on them becoming socially active partners. Understanding communication is as difficult as using language to express needs, wants or offer commentary. Students with autism are more likely to be successful communicators in environments that are designed to encourage and support their efforts. In order for the student to initiate effective communication, two conditions should be met.
1. The student must see a reason to communicate (Why).
This is encouraged by the use of motivating materials/activities and by creating situations in which he or she must communicate to make something happen.
2. The student must have a means to communicate (How).
The student may need to be taught the communicative behaviour needed, and visual supports for such communication will need to be available.
• Understand the various modes of communication used by students with autism and learning difficulties.
• Recognise that visual supports, as tools of communication with and for students with autism, are critically important.
• Understand the need to differentiate the visual support to meet specific needs in definite areas thus helping the student to understand you and develop his or her expressive means.
• Understand how to use engagement as the starting point for communication.
• Recognise various forms of communication and use of a variety of communicative tools.
• Gain ideas for making meaningful communications with the student, even those who are largely non-verbal.
• Look at the importance of motivation to learning and life.
• Gain practical strategies and ideas for maximising the student’s motivation to learn and participate in social life.
Course Overview / Content
• A look at verbal and non-verbal methods of communication.
• Looking at novel approaches to communication such as intensive interaction and using technology to promote communication.
• What is motivation and why is it important?
• How do we motivate students with autism and learning difficulties?
• Ideas for promoting greater engagement and motivation to participate in the wider social world.
St Joseph's Special School,
St Joseph's Special School, , Tallaght , Dublin