Review by Ashley Fotieo, Special Educator & Hunter College Graduate Student
www.autismclassroom.com is a site with some practical ideas for working with students with autism at home and in the classroom. In the “Strategies” sections, there are many suggestions for strategies for preventing and responding to challenging behaviors in children with autism, as well as for supporting their learning. In the section about encouraging communication and social behavior, there is an organized, descriptive list of techniques for encouraging these behaviors. Additionally, there are other helpful resources such as:
- A list of possible IEP goals
- Basic templates for center labels and picture supports
- Behavior Intervention Plan templates
- Presentations that could be useful for informing people about autism
- Links to other resources about things such as sensory needs and books about autism
Overall, the site was mostly organized but could use some updating. For example a link labeled “Real Classrooms” has spaces for images that no longer are available. Also, the visual layout of the site was somewhat basic and could use some visual personality. Finally, while much of the information presented seems in line with research-based practice, the website does not have many references or research sources cited aside from brief mention of The Autism Society of America and the DSM-IV manual.
This is a good website if you want some practical, easy to implement techniques today, but be sure to use it with other resources that reference more research. Most of the site is accessible without becoming a member, though doing so is free.