Autism Spectrum Disorders: Building Foundation Skills in Mathematics is a six-page laminated guide that serves as a valuable quick-reference tool for teachers, paraeducators/paraprofessionals, aides, and other educators who are responsible for ensuring students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and/or other developmental disabilities acquire the foundation skills that will enable them to participate in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) curriculum in mathematics.
Written by Leslie Broun, this guide focuses on visual performance skills, which are critical elements of early learning and comprise the foundation of math comprehension. Many students with autism spectrum disorder and certain other learning disabilities have difficulty mastering visual performance skills, leaving them ill- equipped to learn advanced mathematical concepts and achieve competency in numeracy. This guide presents step-by-step exercises teachers can use to help students with ASD and other developmental disorders or learning disabilities acquire each of the following six key visual performance skills:
• Oddity principle (same and different)
• Recognition of color, shape and size
In addition, the guide recommends general strategies for working with students with autism and other special needs and writing IEP goals for visual performance skills. It also lists accommodations (for instruction and assessment) that are useful for students with ASD who have non-traditional learning styles. Utilizing these and other accommodations adheres to the framework of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), which calls for flexibility in the way information is presented, the way students respond or demonstrate their knowledge, and the way students are engaged.