There of the class for a time. The

There are
many key essential features of an inclusive classroom as outlined above.
Classroom structure plays an important role in providing an effective learning
environment for children with ASD and creating an inclusive atmosphere.

I also
introduced a workstation called ‘the office’ for the child to used at designated
times during the day. I situated this in the corner of the classroom to reduced
distraction. This area could be used by other children in the class when
needed. The work station may be used for independent work jobs or tasks and
when the student requires a separate area in which to work away from the rest
of the class for a time. The use of a work station is an instructional strategy
that teaches appropriate work habits and independence (Rohrer and Samson, 2014)

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I put a quite
area near to the child’s desk. This is small tee -pee where the child can
retreat to withdraw to at times of over stimulation and learn self-calming
strategies. This will have an important role in the child’s development as they
are beginning to understand emotions and identifying and regulating how they
feel.

It is crucial
to keep the classroom clutter free. When an environment is chaotic, the people
in the environment feel more harried. When an environment is cluttered, the
people in the environment feel more disorganized, and valuable time is lost
searching for the correct materials or locating needed supplies. This would be
of benefit to the class as whole. The furniture divides used to segregate areas
would aid the organisational structure of the room.

It is
important to have clear boundaries for a child with ASD. I used furniture to
partition off specific areas to keep the classroom well-structured with clearly
defined areas. The reading area, computer zone, play area and sensory area
are clearly defined with furniture used as a divider. This will help the
students need to develop social expectations and the proper mind-set for the
different types of activities that take place during their school day. In some
parts of our classrooms, it is important to help our students understand that
we expect them to sit and work quietly. In other areas of the classroom,
talking and visiting during the activity is acceptable. This helps the child
understand what the expected behaviour is for that specific area and activity. I
have a schedule, written and visual, to allow students to know when they
will be using the different areas and what they will be doing throughout the
day, and refer to the schedule as your students move through different
activities

When
designing my classroom layout, it was imperative to put consideration into the
child’s seating arrangement. Sensory challenges are common traits of children
with ASD. I aimed to minimize sensory stimulation as far as possible. I placed him in a seat with
reduced visual distractions. I ensured that they do not face a window in the
classroom or that there is no classroom display nearby. I put their desk at the
opposite end of the classroom door. I left extra space between the child and
the adjacent class peer.

According to Rose and
Howley (2006) there are two key questions that should be asked when considering
the physical structure of the learning environment for a child with ASD.
Firstly, does the child understand the purpose of the space within the learning
environment and secondly, are there potential distractions and if so, how can
these be minimised. They go on to state that it is imperative to organise the
classroom in a manner that the child understands the purpose of space within
the classroom, that the teacher should designate specific areas in the
classroom for specific activites and reduce potential distractions.

Autistic
spectrum disorders refer to a range of disorders related to the core disorder
of autism and including Asperger’s syndrome. What are common features to the
disorders within the spectrum are difficulties and differences within three areas
of development, known as the ‘triad of impairments’ (Wing, 1996). These are
best characterized as difficulties in social and emotional understanding, all
aspects of communication and flexibility in thinking and behaviour (Jordan, 2002). Certain
aspects of classroom layout have been recognised as pivotal in relation
particular individual needs arising from SEN (Mesibov and Howley, 2003).

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