Inclusion Manual for Children with Autism Available from PEATC
Author Karen Griffin Roberts Featured in Connections Newspapers
Aug 18, 2009
PEATC is pleased to present “Modifying the Preschool Classroom to Include Children with Autism: A Manual for General Education Preschool Teachers” by Karen Griffin Roberts. This manual is written for teachers and parents who need information on effective classroom strategies for educating preschool children with autism. “There is still a reluctance to include children with disabilities in the preschool mainstream. Many teachers and administrators fear they do not have the facility, or the professional knowledge to include a child who is not a "general education learner," said Roberts.
Roberts wrote this manual for her senior project while earning a Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies in Early Childhood Development: A Study in Autism, from George Mason University. “Perhaps the strongest influences which inspired me to write the manual are my mainstream preschool teachers and administrative peers. It is these very peers who teach in exemplary preschools, who follow developmental pathways and best practices in their classrooms. I truly believe they want to understand how the very early childhood education they provide to their general education children lends itself to the perfect inclusionary experience for children with varying learning abilities,” said Roberts. She is also the mother of an child with autistm who is now 21 years old and doing exceptionally well.
The manual includes information on social skills, classroom settings, playtime, guidance and other resources for preschool-aged autistic children. “As an early childhood development specialist, I believe strongly in the importance of early education as a first school experience and early childhood intervention during a time when the human brain is most malleable,” said Roberts.
"Parents of young children, with and without autism will also be interested in classroom strategies and sample activities contained in the text and the appendices. The special education law (IDEA 2004) requires that, to the extent feasible, instruction should have a research base. The guide also includes an extensive annotated bibliography. The guide has nice ideas that can support children's learning, whether or not the child attends an inclusive preschool." commented Cherie Takemoto, PEATC's Executive Director.