Posts Tagged ‘Asd’
Responding to: Drama: A Teaching Tool for Culturally Diverse Children With Behavior Disorders Nathaniel Bynum and James Jackson
Drama: A Teaching Tool for Culturally Diverse Children With Behavior Disorders
Nathaniel Bynum and James Jackson
This article served to offer me a different perspective on the uses of drama with a different population of children. Culturally diverse children, while perhaps not afflicted with ASD, are often represented at a higher than average rate in classrooms for students with emotional behavioral disorders. This is possibly because the schools many culturally diverse children attend place little emphasis on “providing these children with information on how they can integrate the values of their culture with those of the schools,” leaving these children with a heightened sense of isolation and discomfort. (Bynum & Jackson, 2012) The authors cite as a hopeful practice the growing use of drama experiences and training in order to “enhance educational programming and help children understand the dynamics of their culture within the school and its expectations.” (2012)
The authors suggest that it is important when developing creative drama activities for culturally diverse students that they feel that the activities address their cultural heritage even as it incorporates a useful lesson. In addition, they feel that in presenting these activities to this population, attention must be “focused on three areas. These areas include creating the drama, presenting the activity and presenting the drama as lesson.” (2010)
The authors conclude with a statement regarding the theory that drama can offer a safe, interactive and emotionally safe way for children of diverse cultures to create a more healthy way of looking at themselves, as well as a way to communicate what is important to them about the place and people they have left behind. In this way, it is speculated, the child will find more comfort in his new surroundings, build skills that will allow him to communicate more easily and to relate – with a more positive outcome – to his new surroundings and community.
Understanding the Hidden Curriculum: An Essential Social Skill for Children and Youth with Asperger’s Syndrome
Understanding the Hidden Curriculum: An Essential Social
Skill for Children and Youth with Asperger’s Syndrome
Brenda Smith Myles and Richard Simpson
This article by Brenda Smith Myles and Richard Simpson, both professors of Special Education, provides a clear look at what was for me a new term: The Hidden Curriculum – the social skills “we are not taught directly but are expected to know.” (2001) The piece also contains a great summary of the diagnosis and traits of children with Asperger’s Syndrome, as well as citing very helpful examples and anecdotes that make clear the absolute complexity of understanding social interaction for kids with the disorder.
Writer and scientist Temple Grandin, who is herself an autistic person, has written a rule system for guiding social interaction and this is also included in the article. Her clear, open comments and perspectives on what she has learned that one can and cannot do in public and the consequences resulting from not heeding her advice affected me greatly.
The authors maintain that it is possible to teach the nuances of social interaction to children and teens with ASD, but that it must be done through a systematic, structured approach which is painstakingly described here. Also included is a very helpful chart with examples of “hidden curriculum” teaching points, such as, ‘You should not have to pay students to be your friends,’ and ‘When a teacher is scolding another student it is not an appropriate time to ask the teacher a question.’ (2001) The use of social stories to teach appropriate responses and understanding of social behavior is also recommended, as are “acting lessons,” which are referred to as “an appropriate means of teaching to aid in self awareness, self-calming and self-management.”
I found this article to be very helpful in illustrating for me just how complicated social interaction must seem to young people with ASD, and the accounts of how interaction works in ways we do not even think about if we are not disabled in this way gave me additional insights into this problem.