Autism and Education: Developing Cognitive Skills – by Betsy Hill

April has been National Autism Awareness Month. Autism now affects almost one in 100 children in the United States and continues to be a heart-breaking diagnosis for parents. It affects every aspect of family life and then becomes a critical issue when children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Diagnoses) reach school age. According to the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (CBASSE, Educating Children with Autism, 2001), some of the learning issues faced by children with autism include:

  • Information processing, especially verbally mediated tasks,
  • Sequencing information cross modally, particularly in auditory-visual processing, and
  • Concept generalization.

At the same time, children with ASD may have particular strengths in other cognitive skills such as spatial understanding, perceptual organization and short-term memory. Two of the basic principles for development of cognitive skills are to do it in a way that lets the individual use his/her strengths to build the areas in which they are weaker, and to provide progressive challenge in an integrated manner. Because BrainWare Safari is designed with those principles in mind, parents have come to us at Learning Enhancement Corporation and asked if we thought BrainWare Safari could help their children.

We couldn’t say for sure, so we conducted a study with children with a range of ASD. Not every child was able to benefit from BrainWare Safari. The children who were able to persist in using the program improved their attention, perceptual processing and life management skills. Improvements on the CARS rating scale were also seen. Click here to access a copy of the report.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss whether BrainWare Safari might play a role, along with other programs and therapies, in helping your child with autism.

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