Noise and the implications for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in mainstream education

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Austin Publishing Group
New Zealand has taken a far-reaching approach in comparison to other countries with the inclusion of children with special education needs in regular mainstream classrooms. Many deficiencies have been identified in the implementation of inclusive education in legislation, policy, training of teaching staff in behavior management and the physical learning environment these children are placed in. Considerable debate has occurred around the effects noise has on those with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), which is widespread among those experiencing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Sensory processing disorder results in many adverse reactions to noise and other forms of sensory input. A range of noise categories have been suggested which produce the most adverse effects in those with ASD, although reactions to certain sounds are often individual specific. A busy, active mainstream classroom is more prone to produce the triggers that create meltdowns in ASD individuals when compared to the environment and education delivery of a special education classroom. There needs to be adequate provision to meet the needs of children experiencing ASD and others with SPD who are placed in mainstream classrooms. This includes a space with good quality acoustics, adequate noise management, and appropriate education delivery and particularly in the case of those with high and complex needs, a well-defined behavioral management plan.
Autism spectrum disorder; Noise; Inclusive education; Behavior
Austin J Neurological Disorders and Epilepsy, 2015, 2 (1), pp. 02 - 06 (6)