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102084 - Inclusive Education: Theory, Policy and Practice

Assignment 2 : Case Study

19025777 - Jacinta McDowall

Student Profile

Name: Jimmy

Jimmy is a year 7 high school student who has been diagnosed with Autism

Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Jimmy loves Disney movies and enjoys drawing his

own cartoons in his spare time. He is particularly attracted to the bright and

contrasting colours used in cartoons and has a keen interest in the practical

components of Visual Arts. However, Jimmy struggles to retain verbal

information due to working memory issues, which causes him to have less

interest in the theory components of a lesson, especially when a lot of dialog is

used by the teacher. It also causes him to have problems socialising with other

students as he struggles to express information and thoughts verbally and can

sometimes become distracted by audio elements of his physical environment.

If Jimmy does become over stimulated by audio elements he will rock back and

forth in his chair and appear extremely agitated. It is important to consider

Jimmys strengths and weaknesses in order to implement appropriate

modifications and adjustments to a lesson plan to effectively facilitate his


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neuro-developmental condition

that affects how individuals communicate and interact with others and their

environment (Autism Awareness Australia 2017). ASD effects people in a wide

range of abilities, challenges and severity which is emphasized by the term

‘spectrum’. As such ASD must be approached at an individual level.

The lesson plan included in this report has been modified to ensure the

successful inclusion of the student Jimmy, who has ASD, in a mainstream year

7 Visual Art class. This student has various additional needs that require

specific pedagogical strategies to effectively create a supportive learning

environment where the student can thrive.

The main focus of required adjustments are on pedagogical strategies that

support the students atypical sensory responses, create effective

communication strategies and assist in the control of the physical environment.

Communication is arguably the most important skill a teacher must acquire in a

classroom, and presents itself more challenging when a student in the class has

ASD. This is because many students with ASD can hear but can’t process verbal

language (Larkey, S. 2015). In order to communicate effectively with students

who have ASD teachers must use clear and concise language, for example they

should not use 10 words in a sentence when 5 are service. The lesson plan
provided has been amended to ensure the subject question is kept simple and

concrete , with no idioms or sarcasm - ‘Is graffiti vandalism or art?’.

It is important to assess students have comprehended class content, which can

be more challenging for a student with ASD as they may be able to read

complex sentences however have not comprehended the information (Timler,

G.R. 2013). Teachers can ask students with ASD to explain the content back to

them in their own words or in other means for example using visual aids, to

ensure that they understand and are on track. It is also important that the

teacher limits their non-verbal gestures as many students with ASD will not

pick up on these cues (Larkey, S. 2015).

Clear communication can also play an important role in increasing the

predictability of activities, creating awareness and structure for students and

particularly benefiting those with ASD (Schreibman & Whalen, 2000). This is

evident in the lesson plan provided in which antecedent procedures have been

put in place. These procedures work to decrease anxiety amongst students

with ASD and include the use of priming and visual schedules (Crossland &

Dunlap 2012). Priming has been used to allow students to preview information

of an activity before having to engage in that activity. This is displayed in the

use of a colour coded schedule handed out at the start of the lesson to ensure

students are aware of class expectations and transitions throughout the lesson.

Priming has been shown to effectively decrease challenging behavior and

increase social interaction of students with ASD. This is due to a structured

sequence of events that works to decrease overwhelming feelings of anxiety

(Schreibman & Whalen, 2000). Inclusion is facilitated by the use of priming as

individual instruction is presented to a larger group, enabling the entire class to

benefit from the information (Zanolli, Daggett, & Adams, 1996).

A visual schedule is also made available to students, with a poster displayed at

the front of the room at all times to visually communicate general classroom

etiquette e.g. enter class quietly (arrows indicate entering room, a mouth with

a finger indicates the word ‘quiet’) etc. This strategy is used to facilitate

classroom activity transitions and increase student independence (Crosland &

Dunlop 2012).

Schedules are a vital tool for people with ASD which help them to plan ahead

and organise themselves. Another strategy that can be used to increase a

student with ASD organisation skills is by encouraging them to use a portable

schedule which they can use discretely to link visuals with a timeframe.

Alternatively a timer can be displayed to the entire class that counts down from

one activity to the next (Larkey, s. 2015).

Having a seating plan in place will also assist students who benefit from

predictability as they may feel more comfortable in an established seating

area. A seating plan also assists the teacher in monitoring how peers interact

and create a more controlled classroom environment. This can also assist

Jimmy individually as he displays some signs of being hyper-sensitive to audio

frequencies which can cause him to become distracted and agitated by

background noise. By having a seating plan in place, the teacher can ensure

Jimmy is not seated near a window, dripping tap or loud appliance to allow him

to concentrate more easily.

Students with ASD are prone to atypical sensory responses which can be

described as hyper-sensitive or hypo-sensitive. In this case Jimmy has strengths

in the visual components of a lesson compared to other areas, and may

comprehend information more clearly and for a longer time if a subject is

supported with visuals (Larkey, S. 2015). To support Jimmys sensory processing

difficulties, as well as other students who may have hearing impairments or

language barriers, Visuals have been incorporated to accompany the lesson

plan provided, as the use of a symbol or picture remains constant for longer

than a word is completed.

Visuals can come in a variety of forms including: photographs of an object, real

objects, symbols or drawings and can be used in various ways to assist

students understanding. The lesson plan provided has included several visual

components to assist Jimmy and other students which include a visual schedule

which was mentioned earlier. It contains classroom rules and procedures, to

assist students understanding of what is expected of them. Visual examples of

graffiti are also used to aid the teachers description on the topic, as well as a

short video with graphical content.

Jimmy’s attraction to bright and contrasting colours demonstrates he may have

a hypo-sensitivity to colours, which can be aided through the use of a colour

coding to stimulate memory and develop organisational skills. This has been

implemented in the lesson plan in which a colour coded schedule is provided to

students which also assists Jimmy in predicting transitional periods and class

expectations. The teacher also uses colour coding when documenting student
responses on the whiteboard which helps students differentiate between the

opposing opinions of the controversial graffiti subject.

As people with ASD can find verbal language confusing and have been

described as rather having the trait to think in pictures (Timler, 2013), it is

beneficial to offer students multiple options to demonstrate their

comprehension of a subject, as they may struggle to verbalise or write down

their thoughts. The lesson plan provided has been adjusted to ensure students

can communicate their research and understanding using a variety of methods

including writing, drawing, collage etc. ensuring all students can achieve the

objective at their own rate and ability.

Peer-mediated interventions have also been implemented into this lesson to

increase social interactions and promote appropriate communicative and social

behaviors (Strain, Kohler, & Goldstein, 1996). This is evident through the use of

open class discussion and peer tutoring (paring two students), in which a

typically developing pupil is used to facilitate social reciprocity in the form of

peer interaction, peer modeling and peer reinforcement in a natural social


The Universal Design for Learning framework (UDL) is based on the principle

that everybody learns differently, with an objective to minimise barriers and

maximise learning for all students (CAST. 2012). To create an inclusive

environment that facilitates all students, a teacher must incorporate multiple

means of Representation, Engagement and Action and Expression into their

UDL is achieved in the lesson plan provided by facilitating all students learning

through the use of multiple visual and auditorial instruction and information, as

well as prompting peer support which provides all students with equal

opportunities to achieve the lesson outcome.

Representation (The ‘what’ of learning) has been addressed through the use of

supplying multiple mediums throughout the lesson plan. All students, including

those with ASD have a unique learning style and preference, and by providing

content with varying techniques including text, speech and visual options the

lesson provides opportunity for students to choose their preferred way of

processing information (Strain, Kohler, & Goldstein, 1996).

Multiple means of Action and Expression (the ‘how’ of learning) are also

factored into this lesson plan. Students who struggle with writing due to

physical disabilities or learning differences will not express the information they

have learnt in the same way as others (Crosland & Dunlop 2012), hence

students are offered multiple options to present the information that they have

learnt to suits their learning strengths. This includes using text, photos,

drawing or collage to represent a timeline.

The third principal of UDL requires multiple means of Engagement (the ‘why’ of

learning). Students can be influenced by a variety of factors to motivate and

engage their learning including neurological factors, personal relevance,

culture amongst many others (CAST, 2012). The lesson plan provided

encourages multiple means of engagement by offering students socially and

culturally relevant content which they can explore through a variety of

resources including books and ICT options at their own rate. Students have the
opportunity to delve into this task in a way that is culturally and personally

relevant to themselves, creating an effective lesson plan for all learners.

Lesson Plan

Time Teaching and learning actions

2 Class commences

* Students enter class room in an orderly fashion, take assigned seats

* T explains lesson expectations providing Ss with a colour coded timetable that outlines how the lesson

will play out

* T stands near Visual Schedule to prompt student recognition of classroom etiquette

8 Provoking initial response

* T verbalizes and writes on the whiteboard the short and direct question “Is Graffiti vandalism or


* T goes around the class gaining S opinions and documents conflicting opinions on the

whiteboard, using different coloured pens for opposing opinions emphasizing graffiti is a controversial


(informal diagnostic assessment of student prior knowledge)

15 Expand on topic

T plays TED-Ed talk ‘Is Graffiti Art? Or Vandalism? by Kelly Wall (4 minutes 30 seconds)

(Close caption are displayed and Ss are sent link to re-watch at their own rate if necessary)

T demonstrates that graffiti comes in many different forms by presenting various visual examples of graffiti

from commissioned graffiti works on Melbourne cafes to local neighborhood tags

30 Body

T puts Ss in pairs to research the history of graffiti using books provided and/or an internet search engine.

Ss must then create a timeline with annotations of how graffiti has been used throughout history using

specific examples and dates. Ss may use multiple methods to complete task including: hand drawn

pictures, printed images that are glued in or use descriptive writing to present examples on their timeline.

T must use short and direct language when describing task, and reminds Ss to look at their colour coded

class schedule for timeline assistance

5 Reflection

*Ss walk around the room to view each others work

*T gives Ss good quality feedback

*T sums up lesson, and commends Ss on their great work

2 Pack-up

*Ss pack away any materials used and tidy room, then wait quietly for the bell


Autism Awareness Australia. (2017). Retrieved from

Autism Spectrum. (2017). Retrieved from

Carter, L. (2015) ABC. Autism cases on the rise in Australia. Retrieved from

CAST, (2017). Retrieved from

Crosland, K. and Dunlap, G. (2012). Effective Strategies for the Inclusion of

Children With Autism in General Education Classrooms. Volume: 36 issue:

3, page(s): 251-269
Larkey, S. Learning Media. (2015). Retrieved from

Schreibman L., Whalen C. (2000). The use of video priming to reduce disruptive

transition behavior in children with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior

Intervention, 2, 3-12

Timler, G.R. (2013). Interventions to support Social Communication Skills.

Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2(13), 283-302. doi:


Strain P. S., Kohler F. W., Goldstein H. (1996). Peer-mediated interventions for

young children with autism. In Jensen P., Hibbs T. (Eds.), Psychosocial

treatments of child and adolescent disorders (pp. 573-586). Bethesda, MD:

National Institutes of Health

Zanolli K., Daggett J., Adams T. (1996). Teaching preschool age autistic children

to make spontaneous initiations to peers using priming. Journal of Autism

and Developmental Disorders, 26, 407-422