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Autism Spectrum Disorder

The STEM-Autism Connection

Statistically, between 80% and 90% of those on the autism spectrum are unemployed. The social and financial costs of such a large number are huge. The work you do occupies almost a third of your life and is a large part of who you are. Those who are unemployed, particularly those who are chronically unemployed, don’t have an answer to the question, “What do you do?” That whole part of their lives ...
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Education’s Modern Face

The face of education is changing rapidly to meet the demands of modern enterprise and industry. Just over the last few years alone, there have been new CCSS (Common Core State Standards), Next Gen (Next Generation Science Standards), and we have seen the rise of STEM and STEAM and their variants, some focusing on art, some on architecture, some on the design process in addition to science, techno...
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Small school, Big school

Which should you prefer for your students, to send them to a large school with all of the resources a large school has, or to a small school with possibly compensatory benefits? No need to ponder any longer—the evidence is in, and it overwhelmingly favors smaller schools for any number of reasons. Students in small schools and programs perform significantly better academically than their peers in...
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STEM and SPED

It is now regarded as a truism that many of those with an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) who are at the upper end of the spectrum have specific talents and abilities that lend themselves particularly well to STEM pursuits. It is equally true that those with an ASD thrive when provided with supports that mitigate their weaknesses, and with an education that takes into account their specific learnin...
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Coding and Curriculum

It has become commonplace to acknowledge the shortage of qualified computer science professionals, the scarcity of programmers, both in the general population, but particularly among those traditionally underrepresented: girls, ethnic minorities, and those on the autism spectrum or with other special needs. One school in Brookline, Massachusetts is aiming to reduce that shortage by integrating cod...
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A Progress Report on STEM at Village Glen

Last week, Village Glen had a visitor, someone who had heard about our programs and about STEM at Village Glen in particular. He himself runs a school in England for students with special needs, so it was a rare opportunity to see how someone unconnected to and unfamiliar with our school would view us. His impressions were uniformly positive. He was amazed by middle school students milling about ...
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The Advantage of Autism

Thorkil Sonne is not a household name. Nevertheless, he is a pioneer in changing the perception that the world has of those on the spectrum. Sonne, a Dane, was the technical director of a software company when he noticed that his son, who is on the spectrum, had a keen eye for detail, great persistence, and a phenomenal memory. What Sonne noticed is that his son had just the skills that his compan...
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STEM, AUTISM & Computing

The worlds of STEM and Autism are replete with large variances. On the STEM side, there is a large variance between the number of STEM jobs available and those projected for the future, and the number of qualified candidates for those jobs. The latter is far smaller than the former. A similar variance exists on the Autism side, between the number of high school students on the spectrum who graduat...
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From start-up to take-off

We are a nation of explorers and inventors. We are driven to dive leagues into the oceans and fly deep into space; we've unraveled the mystery of our own DNA; we discover, invent and create. This independence of spirit, this drive to understand, create and succeed is common to us all, and is nowhere more evident than among our own students. Those on the spectrum are increasingly drawn to innovate,...
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STEM and Universal Design

One of the most powerful Universal Design principles is that students with disabilities, like those without, benefit from having material presented to them in a variety of ways: aurally, visually, and kinesthetically. Similarly, students do best when given a variety of ways to engage the material, when they have a choice between giving a presentation, building a model, or writing a paper. The prin...
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