How Montessori Benefits Children with Autism: 5 Resources for You
According to the Autism Society, people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) account for about one percent of the world population. The National Autism Association states that in the United States, one in 68 children are born with ASD, and this diagnosis occurs four times more in boys than in girls.
There are many reasons the Montessori environment can be a beneficial environment for children on the spectrum. These include social interactions and life skills as well as the individualized curriculum. Social interactions can help these children build relationships and help them learn appropriate behaviors. Life skills provide children with proficiencies to succeed in their daily lives by providing independence through materials. The individualized curriculum focuses on the level where the child is and how they will get to the next level within their abilities.
Will Montessori work for your child on the autism spectrum?
5 Resources to Learn about Autism & the Montessori Classroom
Michelle Lane-Barmapov is the founder of the Lane Montessori School for Autism in Toronto, Canada. Her website, Montessori Autism, includes training information and links to books she has written about the Montessori primary curriculum. She also wrote an article for the NAMTA journal in 2009 entitled “A Montessori approach to autism.”
These resources will serve as a beginning for you to determine whether or not your child will benefit from this setting. I encourage you to plan visits and observe in various Montessori environments. Speak with the director of the schools about whether the staff will work with your family. Not all experiences with Montessori serve autistic children well.
Read this parent’s story of how Montessori failed her autistic son. So, do your research. It is vital that you have the background information and facts in hand when you make these visits, as it will help you in representing your child and finding the ideal setting for them to learn and succeed.
Maria Burke has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in French from the University of Arizona. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Curriculum Education from Lesley University and holds certification through the American Montessori Society for ages 3-12. She currently teaches upper elementary at Abintra Montessori School in Nashville, Tennessee. Maria also owns Lighthouse Learning, LLC, and creates supplemental educational resources for academic subjects as well as proprioceptive materials.