Autism is steadily increasing and recent research suggests that children who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will benefit from a sensory diet incorporated into their daily routine in order to function at their highest potential. Furthermore, due to the least restrictive environment requirements, general education teachers will encounter an increased number of children with ASD in collaborative classrooms. Since children with ASD benefit from alternative strategies to satisfy their processing needs due to a dysfunctional nervous system, it is necessary for general education teachers to familiarize themselves with stereotypical ASD characteristics. Furthermore, general education teachers will need to implement alternative strategies in collaborative settings to satisfy students with ASD sensory processing needs. With the implementation of evidence-based strategies, anxiety and sensory overload in children with ASD can be curbed significantly which will allow for more productive learning to take place in academic settings. Such techniques will allow children with disabilities to experience a decrease of behavioral outbursts in social settings which will lessen stress, and promote a more productive experience in the classroom. Therefore, the general education teacher will need to accommodate children with ASD sensory needs in order to; effectively develop their motor skills, have a more positive impact on academics, and to be better understood when interacting with the general population.

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory processing, sensory integration, evidence-based strategies, ASD characteristics.

Year Manuscript Completed

Fall 2017

Senior Project Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Williams Luttrell

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Educational Studies

Document Type

Thesis - Murray State Access only

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