Questions for Getting a head start on autism


Before reading:

1.    Eye contact is important in communication. Using a mirror, attempt to express the following sentiments using only your eyes: surprise, joy, anger, suspicion and confusion.

2.    What do you know about autism? Describe some of the symptoms of this group of disorders.

During reading:

1.    How prevalent is autism among children in the United States?

2.    Why do experts consider autism to be a spectrum of disorders?

3.    Explain some of the symptoms associated with autism.

4.    Did changing Matthew Schumaker’s diet help his autism?

5.    Why would a one-on-one session with an expert be one of the best treatments for a child with autism?

6.    Describe why paying attention and copying are so important in early childhood development.

7.    Why would a child with autism prefer to interact with a robot?

After reading:

1.    The robots, video games, iPads and other devices being used to help children with autism learn and communicate all provide feedback. Why do you think that feedback is so important?

2.    One expert describes virtual reality as “a safe space to practice social skills.” What makes it safer than, say, a real environment or situation?


1.    Navigating the real world can be difficult at times for everyone, not just for people with autism. Many times, that difficulty comes from the unpredictability of life. In what ways could you change the environment in your school to make it even more predictable for someone uncomfortable with surprises or sudden changes?