The role of learning support services in helping individuals with remedial academic support needs
In this blog, let us look at some facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and different ways in which learning support professionals address the needs of children with ASD.
The definition of Autism Spectrum Disorder, according to the National Autism Center (NAC), is as follows: ‘a neuro developmental disorder characterized by deficits in social interactions and social communication and by restricted, repetitive patterns of .behavior’
According to the National Autism Center, some of the early warning signs of ASD which parents should look out for include:
no social smiling by 6 months of age
no single-word communication by 16 months of age
no two-word phrases by 24 months of age
no babbling, pointing, or meaningful gestures by 12 months of age
poor eye contact
unusual attachment to a particular toy or object
not responding to sounds, voices, or name
loss of skills at any time
Research states that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) usually appears during early years of development. The average age for diagnosis is said to be between the ages of 2-3 years. Autism Speaks' research now says that a diagnosis can be made at the age of 2 while signs of ASD can be visible as early as in the first 6-12 months of life.
It has been established that evidence-based early intervention for ASD can help reduce core symptoms and improve daily functioning in the long-term. This can only be achieved if there is support and collaboration among healthcare professionals, educators, and parents.
Parents or educators are required to learn more about these interventions so they are well equipped to support their children.
The role of learning support services is becoming increasingly significant as it is because of their support that children with ASD achieve success and reach their full potential academically.
Learning support professionals use remedial academic instructions to help children with their learning processes. Remediation includes various learning-teaching aids, instructional methods, and equipment to help children with ASD.
Each child with ASD is unique. Therefore, their individual learning needs are also unique and must be catered to by the learning support professionals as such.
Learning support professionals support a child with:
Social interaction & development
Positive/socially-appropriate behavior support
Children with learning difficulties typically undertake a psychological assessment followed by services by a team who helps the individual achieve success at school. Such services can involve a learning support specialist.
The learning support specialist alters the social environment, uses appropriate interventions, understands the child and reviews their performance, regularly. Learning support specialists use interventions depending upon the individual’s needs either through one-on-one interaction or in small groups, in order to promote the individual’s academic achievement.
The aim of learning support services is to cater to the learning needs of individuals. The program seeks to make the child competent, raise their literacy and numeracy skills and improve upon their proficiency in areas in which they are academically performing at a lower level in comparison to their age-matched peers. Cooperation and understanding between parents and learning support specialists play a key role in addressing the child’s learning needs.
Would you like to enroll your child in learning support services or know more about the variety of approaches we are trained in? Please do not hesitate to contact us today!