Organising information, organising learning materials and time management can be extremely challenging for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This is often a result of weak central coherence and poor executive function.
People with ASD often have difficulty seeing how different pieces of information come together to create a meaningful “bigger picture”. This is called weak central coherence. Students with weak central coherence may focus on detail without “joining the dots” to draw conclusions
Challenges with executive function are very common in people with ASD. Executive function happens when the brain co-ordinates several mental processes to:
Difficulty with executive function and weak central coherence combine to have a major impact on the student’s ability to organise materials, engage with learning and manage their own behaviour. They may have trouble connecting previous experience and prior learning with current situations. Students with ASD often have difficulty making generalisations or applying learning to new tasks/contexts. It is possible to support students to develop skills and strategies for organising their learning and behaviour. For more information click here.
It is possible to modify teaching and assessment to support students. For more information, about ways to adapt curriculum and assessment click here.