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Welcome to Autism Fundraising Guide. I focus on therapies, treatment, advice, trends and personal anecdotes based upon my experience as a parent of a sixteen year old with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have seen this disorder go from relatively obscure when my child was diagnosed thirteen years ago, to a very maintream epidemic today.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Is One to One Teaching Better Than Group for Autism Spectrum?

Parents of Autism Spectrum children want to obtain the most effective education for their child. To this end, certain decisions have to be made. Many parents wonder if one-to-one teaching for Autism Spectrum children is preferable to group instruction. Here are some considerations.
Speed 
For the actual quick mastering of cognitive skills, one-to-one learning is usually fastest. This is important because many Autism Spectrum children are already behind. Thus, this may be remedied by having a high number of one-on-one therapy hours. This can either bring them up to speed with their skills or at least lessen the gap between them and their typically developing peers.
Social Skills 
Social skills are not learned most efficiently in the one-to-one setting however. This is because social skills must be generalized to group settings after being learned. Therefore, the Autism Spectrum child must spend at least some time in a small group setting. This will help them make friends and get used to the higher noise level to be found in groups.
Integration of Tutoring and Group 
Each Autism Spectrum child should have extra opportunities to be in small groups as well as have the benefit of one-to-one tutoring. The tutoring may be used to teach concrete skills. The small group can be used to generalize those skills. There will be opportunities to form real friendships or at the very least get accustomed to being part of a group. If the child is very sensitive they will have to be integrated into the group little by little.
Classroom Setting 
Even larger than the social small group is the full classroom setting. Children with Autism must get used to being in a class unless they are going to be fully homeschooled. The Autism Spectrum child may require an aide at first in order to be successful in a classroom setting. The aide may be phased out in the future over time.
When selecting the best education, parents of children with Autism must consider all the options. It is true that cognitive skills are often learned more quickly in a one-to-one method. However, one-to-one tutoring will not teach social skills which are vitally important for Autism Spectrum children. Likewise, children with Autism need to get used to classroom behavior as well. Some integration of small group, one-to-one and classroom setting experience would be ideal for children with Autism. 

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