LESSON PLANS FOR AUTISM INCLUSION STUDENTS FOR FOSTERING IMAGINATION AND CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS
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Developing creativity at the middle school level is a challenge as at this time many changes are occurring developmentally, personally, and socially. With the addition of a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to a student’s developmental ability an art teacher is met with his or her own challenges within the curriculum. Understanding ASD is the first step in developing a comprehensive unit that encourages all levels of students to succeed in developing creativity that is personal and meaningful. Utilizing a student's interests, strengths and dislikes will help an art teacher to assist an ASD student to foster imaginative and critical thinking skills for developing creativity. This study showed that when ASD students are challenged to think creatively with support from aids (para’s) and this researcher they were able to create a personality plaque that showed their positive attributes (good qualities) using clay. With this information the researcher was then able to develop a unit of lesson plans on Community that fostered imagination and critical thinking skills while developing creativity.