Montessori and Autism

Maria Montessori

Marija Montessori tells us that to effectively teach we have to know the children that we are going to teach.

What is Autism?

Autism is a range of neurological disorders, that effects:

  • Communication skills
  • Social skills
  • Sensory processing
  • Behaviour
  • Cognitive development.

The severity of the disorder is based on the level of social communication skills and repetitive behavior patterns. Asperger’s is on the milder end, while pervasive developmental disorder is on the severe end of the spectrum. In recent years doctors have recognized that children with autism may also have ADHD.

There are two kinds of autism that have been discovered Infantile Autism and Regressive Autism. Infantile Autism is present from birth and Regressive Autism starts later. After normal development in the first 15 – 30 months, the child starts losing speech and social skills.

Infantile Autism

Characteristics of Infantile autism:

  • Present from birth
  • Lack of babbling
  • No back and forth gurgling
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Absence of interest in facial expressions
  • Lack of gestures
  • Resists touch and cuddling.

Autism can be reliably diagnosed at 12 – 15 months.

How big a problem is an autism?

As of 2021, 1 in every 44 children born in the USA will develop it. It is more frequently seen in boys than girls. It has increased 10% since 2005. It is rising faster in developed countries, and less rapidly in undeveloped countries.

“Many children with autism struggle to communicate and need help developing basic skills, such as pointing at something that they what or need and joint attention – making eye contact. Structured teaching and working with speech therapists can help children develop this skill,” says Joyce Pickering.

Causes of Autism?

  • 300 + neural pathways that can go askew and lead to autism
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Toxins, viruses, chemicals, medications, bacteria, and possible other unidentified causes.

Montessori ABA program

In the following video dedicated Montessori teacher, Mary Ellen Maunz with decades of experience will introduce you to Autism through the eyes of children with Autism. She will also present Montessori methods and techniques for helping those children in their development.

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