The Use of Graphic Drawing in Comprehending Mathematics Problems by an Autistic Student
The case study included an adolescence male diagnosed with Autism. It also investigated the impact of using drawing representations when solving math word problems with a maximum of three steps. Math achievement during three phases periods: before treatment, during treatment, and after treatment were compared and concluded that there was an improvement in math achievement during and after treatment compared to before treatment. Moreover, the study showed the participant had problems comprehending several words with mathematical connotations. The study involved a male student who was diagnosed to have autism by school official and psychologists. The study showed that the student exhibited a significant improvement in solving mathematics word problems when the participants used pictorial representations to better understand them. Another important finding was that the participants had difficulty understanding some English word with mathematical connotations; for example, he had problem with words such as together, each, half, minimum, maximum, at least, at most, multiplication, division, and most when they are used in math word problems. Teachers should be aware that these children may show a high level of knowledge in some academic subjects, but having problem understanding some simple English words. Some researchers call these children “little professors” since they may excel in one area, and teachers may assume that these children do not need any assistant when working on math problem; thereby, instructors may not modify their lessons or assessments in meeting their needs. One important limitation of this study is the use of its generalization of the results to other children with autism because children could be at different levels of autism spectrum. Literature review of learning by children with autism has shown that no two children with autism are alike. Therefore, educators or teachers should use a teaching strategy that addresses the needs of all learners.
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