Your Name and Title:          Sara Westhead, Librarian/ELA Teacher, Vice-President of BASE

School or Organization Name:   Whitney Institute Middle School; Bermuda Autism Support & Education (BASE)

Co-Presenter Name(s): None

Area of the World from Which You Will Present:   Bermuda

Language in Which You Will Present:    English

Target Audience(s):   General/traditional classroom teachers; those interested in autism

Short Session Description (one line):

Learn how to minimise and prevent the challenges of students with high functioning autism (Asperger's) in your classroom.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

The WHO estimates that 1 in 160 children will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, although other charitable autism organizations estimate the number to be significantly higher. In the US alone, it is believed to be anywhere between 1 in 59 and 1 in 40 children. Unfortunately, according to the WHO: "Worldwide, people with ASD are often subject to stigma, discrimination and human rights violations. Globally, access to services and support for people with ASD is inadequate."

It has been shown that those with high functioning autism are most likely to fall through the cracks. The UK, US and Australian education system have all publicly documented cases of students where local school districts struggle to meet the needs of students who are, as Timna Jacks of The Edge (Victoria, Australia) described as, "..too smart for a specialist school and too disruptive for a mainstream school."

I believe that the key challenge is that mainstream teachers do not have the skills to meet the needs of these students, even though research and best practice demonstrates that mainstreaming with the appropriate supports can provide the best outcomes for students with High Functioning Autism.

In this workshop, it is my goal to help equip educators to meet the needs of these uniquely talented students. We will review what Autism is and what it looks like, as well as discuss sensory challenges and the triad of impairments: impaired communication, impaired social interaction, and restricted interests and rigidity of thinking. We will also explore how these different challenges might appear to others, as well as ways to mitigate them, allowing you and your student to have the best year ever. This class is suitable for any teacher at any level, and will help you not only teach students with Autism, but can also help you meet the needs of other students as well.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

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Replies to This Discussion

Dear Sara, 

Thank you for your proposal. Please review our mission and consider editing your proposal to reflect ties to our focus: We are not a general education conference nor an ICT conference; all proposals must have some international component that is clearly referenced in the proposal. You may want to look at accepted proposals to see some examples:

Let me know when you've made changes to your proposal, and I'll review it again.

Thank you,

Lucy Gray

Conference Co-Chair


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