The introduction section asserts that individuals with ASD tend to experience various cognitive differences that affect various aspects of their lives. It postulates that it is important to identify these cognitive differences so that strategies to address them can be devised. The objectives section highlights the outcomes that will accrue to individuals that will be involved in studying the module.
The section on CEC professional standards on its part highlights the standards that should be maintained when dealing with individuals suffering from ASD. The overview of the module outlines that people diagnosed with ASD exhibit some elements of unevenness in their cognitive abilities. It has provided three cognitive models that could be used to understand the behavior of people with ASD. These models include executive function, theory of the mind and central coherence. This part indicates that it is important to identify various cognitive characteristics that underlie a behavior to develop an effective program.
The section on early cognitive differences indicates that cognitive development is likely to be influenced by social, communication and emotional development. Children diagnosed with ASD tend to demonstrate possible cognitive differences. The section on theory of the mind postulates that the cognitive ability to understand beliefs, thoughts, desires, intentions, feelings and perceptions, and apply this in predicting other people’s actions is the one referred to as the theory of the mind. The section also outlines that children who have been diagnosed with high functioning autism experience delays when it comes to making inferences about other people’s thoughts.
The section on theory of weak central coherence (WCC) shows how difficult it is for people with a weak central coherence to incorporate pieces of information into a larger context. This makes it difficult for them to understand complex contexts. Affected individuals usually have a problem when it comes to differentiating changes that are occurring in small details. The section on theory of executive dysfunction tries to encompass a group of cognitive processes. They include working memory, behavior inhibition, mental flexibility, task initiation, self-regulation among others. The section tries to explain that not all challenges associated ASD are as a result of executive function differences. There has been an outline of various difficulties that are usually related to executive function.
The section on context blindness is all about how people experience deficit when it comes to using context subconsciously and spontaneously to determine meanings. This usually affects individuals with ASD since on most occasions they do not use context in an intuitive way. They only learn facts and rules and apply them in an absolute manner. The section on cognitive strength tries to explain how people with ASD are not alike. A list of strengths associated with people suffering from ASD has been provided as a result.
The section on impacts of cognitive differences indicates that children with ASD experience higher rates of specific learning disabilities. There is also an indication that they have difficulties when it comes to applying concepts in real life contexts. The tendency to have narrow areas of interests also impacts academic performance in various ways. The section on planning and organization shows how an individual with ASD might have the knowledge to undertake a certain task, but lack in planning and organization skills. To some people, it might appear as if they are being manipulative in order to avoid tasks, but that is never the case. When it comes to literal understanding, the section is all about how individuals with ASD tend to interpret in a literal manner.
The content entailed in this module is valuable for students in a number of ways. First being that as students, they aspire to become teachers as their professional career. During this period, they will encounter children portraying a variety of behaviors. The module provides information on how cognitive differences are inferred in children suffering from ASD. As a result, they will be able to use the appropriate mechanisms to ensure that the children get the most favorable support in an attempt of trying to make their life better.
The module educates students on the importance of identifying specific cognitive differences that are affecting a particular child. Identification of the cognitive differences is vital in making the decision as to which strategy will be more appropriate. This is an important element since the implementation of undesirable strategy might make things worse.
The module has also provided students with three cognitive models to help them understand the behaviors exhibited by individuals suffering from ASD. They include theory of the mind, central coherence, and executive function. These models would be very effective when making various analyses. There is also the provision of information regarding what other developmental aspects would influence cognitive differences. This is valuable since it gives the students an idea of what elements require some balancing to reduce the negative impact they would have on cognitive differences.
The part on Weak Central Coherence also provides some valuable information on how people with ASD find it difficult to comprehend situations. This shows that it is important to try and find other ways of showing them various changes occurring in small details since they might not comprehend the “bigger picture.” There is also some important information regarding how individuals with ASD might be poor at executing tasks, yet they have sufficient knowledge regarding the task. Through the module, students are able to learn that it is not a pretense, but something that can actually occur.
If I was to implement the elements of this module in a classroom, the first thing I would do is try to identify specific cognitive differences affecting a child. This is because there is no way you can generalize these differences and expect to come up with strategies that will help solve the problem. To achieve this, I must have the ability to identify various cognitive characteristics that are particular to a certain behavior.
The other thing I would ensure is that a child’s emotional, communication and social development have been considered to a greater extent. This is because if these aspects are operating in an undesirable manner, the prospect of cognitive development being positive is quite low. To some extent, I would also avoid introduction of major changes when dealing with children with ASD. This is due to the distress that they experience as a result of changes or transition in their lives.
While dealing with children suffering from ASD, I would ensure that they do not only learn rules and facts. This is because they only end up applying them in an absolute manner. I must teach them how to analyze various contexts in light of the information they already have. This would be helpful to them since it reduces the prospect of other people taking advantage of their situation. I would also handle each child on an individual level. The reason behind this is that the children might be suffering from a similar condition, but they are not a like at all. This means that a certain strategy might work for a certain child, but fail completely when it comes to another individual. This is something that is even present to people that are not suffering from any disability.
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