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A Practical Guide for Teachers of Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in Secondary Education Debra Costley, Elaine Keane, Trevor Clark and Kathleen Lane

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Book - A Practical Guide for Teachers of Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in Secondary Education Debra Costley, Elaine Keane, Trevor Clark and Kathleen Lane

by: Debra Costley, Elaine Keane, Trevor Clark and Kathleen Lane

About the author:

Debra Costley, PhD is the General Manager of Education Development and Research at Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) where she manages the Aspect Educational Outreach team, the Research Unit and is responsible for new developments in the education division. She has worked in special education, further and higher education both in the UK and Australia. She has a PhD on the impact of the UK National Curriculum on children with learning difficulties.

Elaine Keane, PhD is a Coordinator for Aspect Vern Barnett School, North Sydney. She is a special educator with extensive experience and knowledge of educational programs and service provision for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) gained over 30 years. Elaine has previously worked as a teacher and Aspect's Research Officer.

Trevor Clark, PhD is the Director of Education and Research at Aspect and is currently responsible for the Aspect schools and research programmes. He is a special educator with over 25 years experience in New Zealand, the UK and Australia working on educational programmes and service provision for students with ASDs.

Kathleen Lane is an Education Consultant for Aspect Educational Outreach. She has worked in mainstream education, special education, further and higher education in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. She now works mainly in mainstream schools in Sydney, supporting students on the autism spectrum, their teachers and families.

ISBN: 978-1-84905-310-5

Year: 2012

Publication Info: 160pp


Students on the autism spectrum often face difficulties in the secondary education environment that result from a lack of awareness on the part of their teachers and peers. This guide acquaints teachers with all the information and practical tools needed to understand and support their students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

The book presents specific, ready-to-use classroom initiatives with example worksheets, checklists and timetables to help students keep organised with their school work. It also covers general obstacles such as social situations, anxiety, mental health issues and extracurricular activities and how adults can help. Guidance about the leaving school stage and how to ensure the teen is equipped to make the best possible decisions about their future is included.

Packed with useful information and examples, this book will be a lifesaving resource for teachers, and everyone else working in secondary education, who want to help their students with autism to stay focused and positive at school.



Acknowledgements. Preface. Introduction. Part 1. Unravelling ASD, Associated Features and Theories of Thinking and Learning. 1. Characteristics of Autism and the Impact on the Student. 2. Learning Theories Associated with ASD. Part 2. Implications of ASD and Associated Features for High School Students with Autism. 3. Challenges in High Schools and their Impact on Students with Autism. 4. Learning Style and Scholastic Achievement. 5. Social Understanding and Peer Relationships. Part 3. How to Combat Obstacles Experienced by High School Students with ASD: Suggestions and Strategies.6. A Framework for Inclusion. 7. Transition to High School – Implications for Practice. 8. Class-wide Pedagogical Approaches. 9. ASD-specific Approaches. 10. Individualised Learning and Education Plans. 11. Social Interaction and Socio-Emotional Support. 12. Anxiety, Emotional Support and Student Welfare. 13. Supporting Students in High School Towards Independence. Part 4. Post High School-Where to Next? 14. Planning for the Future. Appendix 1. The Causes of Autism. Appendix 2. Resources. Appendix 3. Outline of Research Methods. References. Index.



This is a valuable manual for professionals who will be guiding their students through an important chapter in life. The authors provide a wealth of practical methods for engaging students with autism and highlight them in case examples throughout the book. It is an important resource for teachers who are supporting adolescence, secondary education, and transitions into early adulthood. The integrated approach will help the educational team to facilitate person-centered planning, to be sensitive to an array of issues that may arise, and to implement strategies to promote the student’s overall success. This book is like a teacher training and support group all wrapped into one package. The outcomes of reading it are plentiful, but the most important result is a student who is better understood.


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