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Boroson, B. (2016). Autism spectrum disorder today: Life, literacy, and the pursuit

of content. Language and Literacy Spectrum, 26 , 53- 59. Retrieved February

18, 2018.

Barbara Boroson studied many autistic children in the school setting. The

journal artic le she wrote gave educators a better understanding of the “life” pieces

to autism that must come before education can even begin. Autistic children

struggle with many areas, especially in the areas of anxiety, regulation, sensation,

socialization, and enga gement. Then the author went into detail about various

strategies to help students cope with these problematic areas. She went into specific

detail about the sensory function and how to help students with too much sensory

input and students with too little sensory input. The main purpose of this article was

to inform others on the importance of “life before literacy and content.”

This article was different from others in the sense that it was not a research

study. It was simply an article from a journal. The credibility is questionable,

because it did not list many sources. Barbara has great experience in working with

autistic children. She has written two books about students falling somewhere on

the autism spectrum and she has also worked in autism educa tion for over 25 years.

Further research and more sources would make Barbara’s article more credible.

This article was informational and helped solidify my problem of practice. All

students diagnosed with autism struggle in the area of sensory. Students are either

experiencing sensory overload or are experiencing a lack of sensory. All of which

result in problems in the educational setting. This article was great in breaking

down both types of learners and in giving other strategies/ideas in the educational

setting. Ultimately this article proved the importance in my research I am

conducting. My purpose is to create a better learning environment, meaning a calm

classroom to help my learners so that we can focus more on educational aspects

rather than problem behaviors.

Case- Smith, J., Weaver, L. L., & Fristad, M. A. (2015). A systematic review of

sensory. Autism, 19 (2), 133 - 148. Retrieved March 24, 2018.

Smith, Weaver, and Fristad completed a systematic review of various sensory

processing interventions for children diagnosed with autism. They reviewed 19

total studies. Of those 19, 5 examined the effects of sensory integration and 14 were

sensory - based interventions. SIT (Sensory integration therapies) tend to be more

clinically based interventions done with actual therapists outside of schools. SIB

(Sensory based intervention) tend to be done more in the school setting and fit

along with the child’s daily routine. Both types contain the same sensory tools:

therapy balls, swings, inner tubes, trampolines, deep touch, and wearing a weighted

vest. The most effective of these two styles proved to be the SIT, because of the clinic

based. These therapists tend to work one - on - one with the child, outside of the

school setting, and they focus on the child’s individualized goals. The SIT showed the

most positive effects whereas SBI’s showed little to no evidence of consistence

positive effects. More research is needed to confirm these findings.

These researchers reviewed a decent amount of studies, but the studies did

not have a lot of participants. The most participants in one study reviewed, was six,

so these studies contained a very small population size. This could have a great

effect on the findings and patterns these studies showed. There was also room for

error when the review did not list if all studied collected data in the same style, and

did not list the specific tools used to collect data. The review did give great

definitions for the two styles and went into great detail on the purposes of the two

study styles.

This article assisted my research by explaining the similarities and

differences in the two types of interventions for children with autism. The article

also gave statistics that prove a need for excellent sensory interventions, because of

the high percentage of children with autism struggling with sensory processing. The

researchers made notes of the parent input that is involved in creating an

intervention. Parents actually often request the need for a sensory intervention for

their child. This emphasizes the importance in my research. It also gave me

confidence in my topic choice for this research. Overall this article was helpful for

my research and also gave great references along with keywords to continue the


Ennis- Cole, D. (2011). Teaching students with autism spectrum disorders:

Technology, curriculum, and common sense. Journal on Educational

Psychology, 5 (3), 52 - 61. Retrieved January 29, 2018.

Ennis- Cole summarized the definition of autism spectrum disorder while also

explaining the role that technology, curriculum, and common sense plays when

educating a child on the spectrum. The author also explained the need for

purposeful planning when educating students diagnosed with autism spectrum

disorder, because their needs are not always best met in the traditional educational

setting. These students need more assistance and adaptations. Ennis- Cole

introduced the idea of having a “support tool kit,” which contains the tools to best

educate students with learning difficulties. The tools include: technology, frequent

breaks, choice, awareness or sensory issues, positive reinforcement, etc. The author

also stressed the importance of learning involving active engagement activities,

multi- modal, kinesthetic, and audit ory activities. The classic saying, “one size fits all”

does not fit all autistic learners.

Throughout the article Ennis - Cole described the important aspects and

characteristics of autism. One concern is that she is an expert in technology-

enhanced educat ion, not an expert in autism nor is she an autism researcher. She is

a professor at a University in Texas. The article was not a research study. It was an

informational article from the Journal on Educational Psychology.

This article was helpful to my research. The article provided me with rich

background information regarding the autism spectrum disorder. The article also

described all parts of autism: the sensory component, the kinesthetic piece, and

gave various activity ideas. This supports the need for more research and helps me

describe my problem of practice. The article did not change my attitude towards

sensory, it described the need for more sensory and kinesthetic movement/breaks

for autistic learners to be successful.

Robinson, J.E. (2008). Look me in the eye: my life with Aspergers. Sydney: Bantam.

This book is a bibliography written by a man that was diagnosed with

Asperger’s Syndrome at a very young age. John had a unique upbringing. His parents

were both professor s and they moved around often. John’s dad turned into an

alcoholic and became very abusive to John and his younger brother. The entire book

was about John’s struggles he faced daily having to live with his diagnosis. Life was

not easy, nor was school. He was obsessed with cars, a particular type of car, a

Porsche. In elementary school John was constantly being made fun of. He lined up

his cars, and did not play with toys like most children, he rocked when he sat, he

flapped his arms some, he also made humming noises constantly, and he did not like

to take off his shoes. He did not understand why the other children did not ever

want to play with him and why they played so differently than he did. John also

showed some aggressive behaviors at school when he was frustrated. Later in life

John graduated from high school and went to college earning a degree and living a

somewhat normal life.

“Look me in the Eye,” was excellent. It was a bibliography written by John

Eder Robinson himself. This gave the book more meaning and even more credibility

to my research topic. John had been diagnosed with Asperger’s at a young age and

he struggled with this throughout his entire life. John talked about his experiences,

challenges, and successes throughout his life. The book was informational and well


This bibliography helped inform my research because of John’s sensory

issues that he talked about openly throughout the story. John had been diagnosed

with Asperger’s Syndrome which has very similar characteristics as a child

diagnosed with autism. The biggest similarity in the two diseases would be the

sensory issues. John discussed in the book how he handled these challenges he faced

and how he felt growing up differently. After reading this book I have learned that it

is important to accommodate children so that they can feel more “normal” and not

stand out as much. This is what a sensory intervention would hope to accomplish in

my classroom.

Su, H., Lai, L., & Rivera, H. J. (2012). Effective mathematics strategies for pre- school

children with autism. Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 17 (2), 25 -

30. Retrieved February 18, 2018.

Three women studied interventions for autistic students in the focus area of

mathematics. The article thoroughly described autism and the purpose of

interventions. They discussed the key to interventions, which is: early interventions

create more positive outcomes. This study involved two pre- school classrooms wit h

a total of about 10 students who had been diagnosed with autism. The teachers,

staff, and administrators all received a (MIND) Math is Not Difficult program

training. After receiving this training they implemented various strategies for

teaching math. These strategies included learning math through: games, stories,

poems, songs, arts, puzzles, and mental math competitions/activities. Results

showed positive outcomes, because the activities required use of multiple senses.

The research took place in Sout h Florida. The pre- school aged students took

a pre and post - test, there is room for questioning in how exactly these pre- school

students took a pre/post test. The article did not elaborate on the exact test that

they took, which leaves room for error. Was the test observation, simple survey, or

what did the format look like? The article also only involved pre- school aged

students, which is a small sample size. At the end of the article researchers

mentioned a need for more research involving older students to clarify if the results

would be consistent or vary.

This article was helpful. The definition of autism was clearly stated. The

details the article contained regarding interventions in general was also helpful. The

format of the research study regarding students with special needs was also a great

example. The findings in the study provided me with more information regarding

learning around senses and increased engagement for students with autism. Overall

this article had some beneficial pieces for cont inuing my research.