Gifted Autistic Children

Table of Content


            The Human mind is one of the most amazing things anyone can fathom.  How in nine months something as complex and amazing can form so perfectly in order to allow the levels of thinking and reasoning that it does is difficult to comprehend.  Just as amazing is how fragile it is.  If one minute thing goes wrong during that development, the results can be devastating.  The problems can range from something as simple as a stutter to severe mental retardation.  Autism is one of these defects.  It is a disorder that no one knows the exact cause of there are some genetic clues, but nothing definite to predict what children will develop the condition. No one has yet figured out how to prevent it or how to cure it.  It can now however be treated especially if caught early enough.  Many children can learn coping skills to help them be functional.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

            Autism is one of the greatest mysteries of modern science. The word autism means a preoccupation with one’s thoughts and daydreams (Eysenk, 1972).  It is a disorder which severely affects a person’s ability to communicate with or feel emotions for other people.  Some are severely limited in their mental abilities, while others are very intelligent even including genius level IQs.  The common thread is the very strict routine oriented world they must live in and some kind of ritualistic behavior. Almost all autistic people have some kind of special gift such as a talent for music or a very detailed memory for facts and figures.   Many spend a great deal of time lost in their own thoughts and fail to even notice a room full of people.  This becomes very frustrating to parents, who want to bond and develop a relationship with a child who does not want it.

 A child starts out normal and seems like a perfectly happy healthy child for the first months or year of life.  Then signs begin to emerge there is something a little different about the child.   The first signs usually are a resistance to being held or cuddled and avoidance of eye contact (Mayo).  As they get older, they begin talking late and do not look at a person when they are giving a request (Mayo).  They tend to go into their own world and often have severely limited social interactions.  They may sing or talk in a robotic sounding voice without using real words (Mayo).  The young person develops ritualistic behavior and becomes very upset if a routine is changed even slightly.  Parents begin to notice when their child does not seem to notice them. Sometimes they can spend hours sitting on the floor focusing on their own hands or a toy without even noticing the passage of time or other people.

            There are varying degrees of autism some children become completely engulfed in their own world and rituals to the point they do not develop language or any ability to communicate with others.  They may go into rages if their routine is disturbed or someone gets in their way.  These children can become so difficult or heartbreaking for parents to care for in the home they have to be institutionalized. Others are very intelligent and highly functional.  They can get jobs and adapt well enough to live on their own and function independently some higher level autistics can become very successful. The higher functioning levels of autism can include children with very high IQs.  These children need to be treated as the intelligent child they have and given challenges.  They simply need these challenges to be in a structured minimally stimulating environment.

            Higher functioning level children can very effectively be maintained in a normal classroom.  They need a great deal of cooperation between the child’s parents, the classroom teacher, the special education agency in the area, and school administrators.  Everyone needs to plan for the child together to maintain a specific continuum of learning.  The lessons taught in the classroom need to be explained in the same way by the parent helping with the home work.  The expectations need to be made very clear and concise.  This involves extensive planning and knowledge of the individual child’s habits and routines.

            A plan for having a child with high functioning autism in a regular classroom would consist of regular assignments.  They can learn along with other students and sometimes better.  The difference for these children is they need very specific instructions.  They do not have the ability to make inferences.  Everything in their lives has to be very specific and have detail oriented instructions.  These children can not handle surprises.  They can not have pop quizzes or changes of plans.  If they are going to have a substitute they need to be prepared for this in advance.  They need to be prepared in advance for everything.  They become upset if there are distractions, therefore these need to be kept to a minimum.  If there are children in the class who act up or talk a lot they should be kept from the child with autism.  The autistic child should be in the front of the class where the teacher captures all of their attention.  If the child wanders off into some ritualistic behavior, the teacher should bring as little attention to it as possible.  She needs to get the child’s attention, but without addressing the behavior. High functioning autistic children are capable of learning math, reading, science and any other curriculum other children learn.  They should be invited to participate in social activities such as recess and field trips, but should not be expected to if they are unable to effectively participate.  The main difference between these children and others is that when the other children look forward to recess and playing with others, the autistic child would rather stay in class and work on the assignment. If the child does become upset, there should be a quiet safe place for the child to go to calm himself before he returns to class.  An autistic child will have at least one area in which he excels this area should be encouraged and explored.  If the child is way ahead of the class in math, science, art or music, they should not be required to stay with the rest of the class.  They need to be allowed to work ahead in these areas to prevent them from getting bored and retreating to their private world.

            The classroom tips listed above are for young children in preschool through middle school.  When the high functioning autistic child reaches high school, they need to be guided into very specific classes to develop their talent.  “The visual thinkers can become experts in fields such as computer graphics, drafting, computer programming, automotive repair, commercial art, industrial equipment design, or working with animals. The music, math, and memory type children can excel in mathematics, accounting, engineering, physics, music, translating engineering and legal documents, and other technical skills (Grandin, 2001).  These young people need to be encouraged and challenged, while maintaining structure and order in their lives.  They can easily retreat into silence and refusal to participate.  In high school the social deficits become more of an issue, because the other children begin dating and going out with friends.  The autistic child may have learned to imitate appropriate social behavior, but they can be easily influenced by negative influences.  They do not automatically develop the social skills everything they know about socializing is copied from an example.  These children are intelligent enough to know they are supposed to be dating and making friends, but they do not know how to go about this.  They need some very strong positive role models to help them be successful in completing high school.  Each young person reacts differently, but they can be susceptible to getting caught in drug and alcohol abuse and criminal activity if they are not able to make positive friendships.

            All children deserve the best possible chance for success.  A child with autism is no different.  They need the people in their lives to work together to help them reach their full potential.  They may not be likely to be publicists or human resource specialists, but they can be very effective in highly structured fields in which their assignments and duties are very clearly defined.  They may not be the most social person at the company Christmas party, but they can learn to communicate with the people who care for them.  It just takes a great deal of time and patience on the part of the parents, caregivers, teachers and often the community.  The child can develop friendships, but the other child needs to understand that the social interactions will be different than those with other children.  They need to understand the autistic child needs very little stimulation and a great deal of structure.  They can not play games where people sneak up and surprise them or any game that requires quick decisions.  Autistic children need regular routines, very set schedules and a security that their lives will remain the same.


Autism, (June 2006) Mayo Retrieved May 22, 2007 from.

 Autism: Signs and symptoms –

Autism USA Today, Retrieved May 22, 2007 from,

Autism – Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Granden, Temple, December 2001, Genius May Be an Abnormality: Educating Students

            with Asperger’s Syndrome, or High Functioning Autism, Retrieved May 22, 2007

            from, Center for the Study of Autism

Rimland, B. Autism, 1972. Encyclopedia of Psychology. (Volume 1.  pg. 103.) New

            York: Herder and Herder.

Cite this page

Gifted Autistic Children. (2016, Dec 17). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront