Bryan ISD Teachers Offer Special Instruction For Autism Students

BRYAN, Texas One out of 68 children in the U.S. now have autism according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Child autism has increased 30 percent in the U.S. within just the past two years.

News 3 takes a look at the specialized instruction autistic children in the Bryan ISD are receiving.

There's lots of learning going on in Mrs. Smalley's classroom at Sam Houston Elementary School in Bryan.

But it's a special classroom for special students including
6 -year-old Jacob Plowman.

He and the students here have autism.

"The best thing is to truly remember that they're just like you and I," said Jenna Smalley, who is a ready room teacher.

Autism is on the rise across the country and Bryan ISD now has 139 students on the autism spectrum across the district.

Jenna Smalley is breaking down material to each of these students based on their needs.

"The most rewarding part about my job is the kids. They are absolutely awesome," she said.

This specialized classroom has students ranging in grades from kindergarten through fifth grade and they even have things like these lights for students that might be affected by the brighter, fluorescent ones.

Karen Morrow is a Teaching Assistant and is enjoying the transition from a regular classroom to this one.

"A lot of them are on grade level or even above grade level, but a lot of times it's focusing being able to redirect so that they are able to focus, take away some of the distractions that will help them to be able to focus," Morrow said.

"Everyday you get to see different gains whether it's in reading, social skills, math, and they'll truly amaze you with how much they can do when you set the expectations high," said Jenna Smalley.

Learning despite the disability one student at a time.

April is also Autism Awareness Month with a special walk-athon coming to Austin's Colony Park in Bryan on April 5th, happening from 8 A.M. to noon.

We have more details in the related links section of this story.

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