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Interventions and adaptations for children with autism spectrum disorder in inclusive early childhood settings

The inclusive education of children with disabilities is considered best practice, yet many early childhood educators feel unprepared to deliver appropriate instruction for children with disabilities and often require supports to successfully meet the children's unique needs. Young children experiencing autism spectrum disorder are being diagnosed at a young age and they are commonly receiving their education within inclusive early childhood settings. This article presents two methods to meet the needs of children with autism spectrum disorder. First, early childhood educators can provide interventions tailored to the children's learning needs. Second, educators can adapt the environment, materials, activity, instruction, and assistance they provide so that each child is appropriately supported, while still being encouraged to succeed as independently as possible. This article summarizes research-based interventions and adaptations that early childhood educators can implement within inclusive settings to meet the diverse needs of young children with autism spectrum disorder and presents a case study to describe how these practices can support young children with autism spectrum disorder within inclusive settings. (author abstract)
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