Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Support Beyond Tutoring
Students with ASD experience delays in language development; challenges with verbal and non-verbal communication, social skills; show unusual patterns of behaviours, interests, and activities; or express more interest in objects than people.
Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space (RRLS) helps students manage these learning differences with one-to-one Direct Instruction, teaching organization techniques and integrating assistive technologies in a warm and nurturing environment.
Types of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autistic Disorder: Characteristics include difficulties with communication and social skills; limited number of interests or a preoccupation with one interest; a struggle if routines are not followed; delays in social interaction, language, and/or imaginative play.
Asperger’s Disorder: Characteristics include delays in significant language, cognitive development, and age-appropriate language skills; challenges with social interaction; and repetitive or patterned behaviour.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD NOS): Exhibit some, but not all characteristics for Autism Disorder or Asperger’s Disorder. Symptoms usually are milder and related to communication and social challenges.
Common Issues Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Reading Comprehension: Students may struggle with reading comprehension, especially answering higher-order thinking questions.
Written Expression: Students are unable to express themselves in writing, trouble brainstorming and organizing ideas, and how to improve their writing.
Handwriting: Students may have difficulties with fine motor skills required for handwriting may be challenging for some students with ASD.
Executive Functioning: Students who struggle with transitions, managing assignments, organizing their work, and planning for task completion.
How We Help Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder:
One-to-one instruction with concrete examples in reading comprehension to promote the ability to use and understand various reading comprehension strategies and help link higher order thinking skills to more concrete lesson activities.
Direct instruction in written expression (using Rumack Writing programs) to learn numerical approaches to writing, breaking down the process to smaller and more manageable steps, and learning how to create organized and detailed pieces of writing that are clear and concise.
Teaching one-to-one handwriting instruction or through the Power Pencils camps that use the research-based program Handwriting Without Tears (R) to address handwriting challenges.
The use of assistive technology related to writing including dictation, read-back, graphic organizer programs, and research tools.
Executive functioning to teach organization using personalized checklists, calendars, and systems.
Partnership with teachers and parents to ensure that the systems are consistent across multiple environments and daily check-ins become part of students’ routine.