In addition to the general objectives of teaching, for students with autistic behavior the following priority areas arise:
1. Generating interest and curiosity in issue-oriented discussion.
2. Development of specific skills such as coping with everyday life, social standards and norms.
3. Perception of reality: having a different picture of “here and now”, for autistic students it is sometimes not possible to perceive situations in their complexity. They are limited in their perception.
4. Promotion of communicative behavior and different forms of expression, with non-verbal communication methods playing an important role.
o Learning characteristics
Based on the disability-specific manifestations of autism spectrum disorders, learning characteristics have to be considered and adhered against the background of school-academic learning. Students with autism reveal such an unusual learning behavior, that teaching requires specific content, spatial and methodological conditions.
o Limited communication capabilities
Many children with autism do not use any verbal language or do not use them for the purposes of communication.
Furthermore, most do not use alternative communication strategies such as facial expressions, gestures and body language. Thus the provision of teaching content and participation throughout the class is significantly impaired.
o Learning strategies
Children with autism often show learning strategies, being unknown to us, which they are only reluctant to give up in favor of pre-defined specified formal learning steps and which are difficult to integrate into a systematic school education.
o Enhanced and diminished perceptual processingMain differences between autistic and non-autistic exist in respect to their sensory experiences. Responses to sensory stimulation may range from hyposensitivity to hypersensitivity. The locally oriented visual and auditory perception as well as the perception of complex movements are often diminished.
o Action planning
There are anomalies in a way that students with autism on one hand need an increased level of training and practice in daily and actually simple dealings and on the other hand it can be determined that they cope unexpectedly good with complex processes.
o Motivation and social orientation
Students with autistic disorders often have a large interest in their own issues, but cannot cope with school program and curricula. One can consistently experience the ambivalence between adaptation for suitable models, and the resistance against repetition and practice phases of known lesson material.