Just Like Me Activity
For this activity, gather all of your students together on the floor so they can all see each other. Have each child take turns sharing something about themselves, like:
- I have a pet dog.
- I can play the piano.
- My birthday is in September.
- I love to play soccer.
- My favorite color is yellow.
If a statement also applies to other students , instruct them to raise their hands. This will help remind students that they share more similarities than differences with their peers and that they can always find something to talk about.
Get Used To The Rocking Pacing And Flapping
Children on the autism spectrum frequently display behaviors known as stimming. These behaviors might include flapping their hands, rocking back and forth, spinning, or pacing. While such stimming behaviors can be distracting to both the teacher and other students, teachers would do well to realize that this type of behavior is not meant to be a distraction. Rather, its a repetitive pattern that the child finds comforting.
Have A Schedule Written & Visual
With a schedule, students know when they will be using the different areas and what they will be doing throughout the day. Refer to the schedule as your students move through different activities.
You may want to have the different sections of the schedule removable so children know which parts have already been completed and what they still have left to do. You can do this by purchasing velcro and laminating the different pieces of the schedule.
Read Also: Average Lifespan Of Autistic Person
What Are Resources For Autism
In this article, we will explore what types of learning tools and strategies might make your curriculum easier to access for children with ASD. We will argue about the benefits of making inclusive environments for everyone and that doesn’t single out the neurodiverse. ASD or Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can result in hypersensitivity to sounds, sights, and other sensory experiences. There are three most common categories of symptoms of autism:
- Social impairment
- Communication issues and
- Stimming or Repetitive behaviours.
With an increasing number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in schools, it has become important for teachers to use the most effective strategies and resources to help these children learn, academically and socially. At Structural Learning, we try to develop classroom concepts that are universally inclusive for everyone. This means developing tools that neurodiverse children can use as well as their mainstream colleagues. In a well-designed classroom environment, a child should not have to pursue their studies in the corridor. Good instructional practice means that all pupils can access the curriculum. In this article, we will provide teaching staff with some ideas for making their classrooms truly inclusive.
Teach To The Students Abilities And Interests
Autisticchildren, like all children, need to feel familiar and comfortable in theirsurroundings. This can take time, so dont embark on your teaching withoutample and appropriate preparation, says Tonya Roman, a teacher at Academic Brits and the Ph.D. Kingdom.
After educating yourself about the child, make sure to identify their strengths, weaknesses, skills, interests, and obsessions. Factor this knowledge into your classroom approach to give them the best learning opportunities. Knowing things they like may help in providing positive rewards. Knowing things they dislike may help in avoiding meltdowns.
Recommended Reading: The Good Doctor Autism Consultant
Effective Teaching Strategies For Children With Autism
In some cases, the learning characteristics of students with autism may differ from the rest of your class. But luckily, the right teaching strategies and methods can keep children with autism on track to finish the school year strong. Try these tips, educational accommodations, and resources for students with autism to help them learn concepts that might otherwise be difficult for them to grasp.
Abrupt Changes In Behavior Usually Signify Anxiety
Living on the autism spectrum means living with a sensory system that is constantly bombarding you with information that may or may not be accurate. If you happen to notice an abrupt change in behavior in your autistic student, know that it is likely not a case of the student deciding to act naughty for attention or entertainment. Rather, he or she may be experiencing anxiety due to something in the environment.
Don’t Miss: Why Is The Symbol For Autism A Puzzle Piece
Autism In The Classroom: One Size Doesnt Fit All
The parents and the professionals all agree that it takes lots of hard work to help a child with autism get the most out of the classroom experience. It also takes, they say, a good dose of structure and the understanding that every child with an autism spectrum disorder is unique. That means each child has different symptoms as well as styles of learning.
“Autism isnât like diabetes,â psychologist Kathleen Platzman tells WebMD. âWith diabetes, we have two or three things that we absolutely know about every kid who has it. But since itâs not that way with autism, we need an educational model wide enough to take in the whole spectrum. That means itâs going to have to be a fairly broad model.â
Platzman works with autistic children and their families in Atlanta. She says every child with an ASD needs individual attention.
Helpful Strategies For Autism In Preschool Classrooms
Preschool is a great time for children to work on social skills, following directions and routines, and pre-academic skills, such as colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. Children with autism typically lack the appropriate social skills and interactions that typically developing children exhibit. By integrating your child with autism into preschool, they can work on and improve their social skills. Here are some strategies that can assist your child with autism in the preschool classroom:
You May Like: What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Aspergers
Some Basic Information About Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder is an umbrella diagnosis for persistent deficits in social and emotional reciprocity, verbal and nonverbal communication, and relationship skills. It includes several conditions formerly diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified , and Asperger syndrome.
Over the last 20 years, ASDs estimated prevalence among U.S. children has almost tripled. Its risen from 1 in 150 to 1 in 54.
This rate may result from an actual rise in cases, greater awareness and detection of ASD, or a combination of the two factors. But theres no doubt ASD affects millions of kids from all backgrounds. Black and Hispanic children are unfortunately still identified later and receive interventions later than White children.
Symptoms of ASD vary widely: underdeveloped language and social skills, a tendency to experience sensory overload, poorly coordinated motor skills, and more. But so many symptoms hinder the academic and social proficiencies students most need to develop for success.
All Students With Asd Need Educational Adjustments
Although there are a number of strategies which have been proven to be successful, a careful analysis of the pupils learning needs must have taken place to understand how ASD will affect each individual pupils perspective, motivation and preferred ways of working.
There are no two people with ASD who will be exactly alike.
Therefore, it is imperative for educators to develop effective intervention strategies for students with ASD. The following strategies can be applied to students with ASD of all ages, across a range of settings . However, the particular emphasis in this article is on those strategies which can be implemented by teachers and support personnel in the inclusive classroom.
Overall, most students with ASD will benefit from a structured and explicitly outlined teaching approach with clear expectations . Structure and predictability can reduce anxiety and stress and, in some cases, challenging behaviour . Students with autism also need structure and clarity in the presentation of tasks, in timetables and in the learning environment. This structured teaching approach needs to be supported, where appropriate, by visual materials.
Recommended Reading: Autism Pivotal Response Training
Activities Teaching Strategies And Resources For Teaching Children With Autism
Because approximately 1 in 59 students are diagnosed with autism, learning how to help students with this disorder in the classroom is so important. Teaching young students with autism communication skills and learning strategies makes it all the more likely that theyll reach their academic potential later on. And the more you learn about autism spectrum disorder, the better youll be able to prepare these students for lifelong success.
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that causes hypersensitivity to sights, sounds, and other sensory information. Symptoms of autism generally fall into three categories:
- Communication issues
- Social impairment
- Repetitive behaviors
Here are 15 fun activities to help children with autism feel welcome in your class while addressing their symptoms and individual learning styles. Whether you play them one-on-one or as group activities, these are excellent ways to keep students with autism engaged and ready to learn.
Fun Classroom Activities For Teaching Students With Autism
Sometimes, educational strategies for autism may differ from the lesson plans you make for the rest of your class. But thankfully, autism activities can be as simple as stocking sensory toys in your classroom or reading picture books about social skills. Use these four activities for students with autism to help these students learn academic concepts.
You May Like: What’s The Symbol For Autism
Board Games With A Twist
Teaching children manners can be a helpful way to boost social skills and explain the importance of being polite. This simple, but effective activity puts an etiquette-related twist on a simple game of chess, checkers, or mancala by requiring players to wish their opponent good luck or good game before and after they have played.
How Do You Accommodate A Child With Autism In The Classroom
Autism can present many challenges to a childs life, especially at school. Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that affects the way the brain processes sensory experiences, causing issues with communication and social interaction.
Children with ASD may get disturbed when exposed to loud noises, bright colors, and strong smells, causing them to engage in repetitive and stereotypic behaviors. They may:
- Have trouble talking or making eye contact
- Seem to prefer playing alone or being in their own world
- Shows unusual attachments to certain objects or activities
- Struggles in social interactions with other students
- Have problems with fine and gross motor coordination
Accommodating a child with autism in the classroom needs special consideration. Its important for teachers to be empathetic in understanding the needs of autistic children and integrating their learning styles into their teaching methods.
You May Like: Autistic Sexually Active
Educate Yourself About The Learner
Educating yourself is a practical step for teaching any individual. You need to learn as much about the student as you can to cater and facilitate their needs. If the child has an IEP or 504 plan in place, make sure to study up on these. Knowing the accommodations ahead of time will help with a smooth transition.
If possible, touch base with the childs previous teachers. Chances are, they will have some great insight to help you learn more about your student.
What Would You Do
For a take-home activity you can share with families, try this What Would You Do? game. Families can go through different scenarios together and decide how they would react with questions like How would you help? or What would you say?
This activity keeps social skills sharp and reinforces relationship-building skills.
Recommended Reading: Is Nonny From Bubble Guppies Autistic
Only Boys Can Develop Autism Girls With Autism Are Rare Or Nonexistent
While its true that boys are more likely to develop autism, girls can have this condition, too. The ratio of boys to girls with autism is estimated at around 3:1, but girls with ASD are less likely to be formally diagnosed. Some researchers have theorized that autism symptoms can be different in men and women, causing girls with ASD to be misdiagnosed or underreported.
Autism In The Classroom: The Iep Meeting
Public schools are legally bound to use an IEP to guide the education of a child with an ASD. IEP stands for individualized education plan. It outlines therapies and educational programs that will be provided to help ensure your child’s educational success. Therapies might include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and behavioral therapy. The IEP might also define the time your child will spend with a special education teacher.
During the meeting, educators make decisions about what services your child will receive or be offered during the school year. IEP meetings can be held at any time throughout the school year.
Here are tips from parents and educators for having a successful IEP meeting:
- Be an advocate, not an agitator. It doesnât work to go in demanding âWe want this, we want that.â What works is being prepared to discuss goals your child can attain.
Be ready to talk about supportable, age-appropriate goals for your child. For instance, one goal might be for your child to initiate a conversation with a peer several times a week.
- Invite outside team members to participate. Bringing in an expert — for instance, a former teacher or therapist — who really knows your child can enhance the teamâs efforts to design strategies and brainstorm goals.
- Show gratitude. Thank everyone who attends your IEP meeting. Send them a handwritten note or an email. A child with an ASD creates more work for teachers. So itâs good to show your appreciation.
Read Also: How To Do Pivotal Response Training
Keep Materials Out Of View When Not In Use
Some children, such those with autism or ADHD can become overwhelmed or overstimulated when presented with too much visual and tactile information so it is important to reduce clutter.
Try to have a specific place for things . If you want your child to get through dinner or homework/classwork without distractions, move distracting material out of the environment or keep it in a closed container.
If you have the containers on shelves, it can be helpful to hang a cloth over the shelves so your child is not distracted by the actual bins .
Here is an example. Some children may do well with organized bins such as the ones in the bookshelf on the left in the image above. Since the materials are put away in bins, this might be sufficient to keep some children from becoming distracted or over-stimulated by the items.
Other children may need the bins to be covered entirely as shown in the bookshelf on the right . It is covered with a piece of canvas cloth.
Have a schedule that lets students know when they will be using those materials and/or give specific directions for when students can go get materials from the bins.
For students who have trouble reading and/or understanding verbal language, use words and pictures to indicate what is in the bins. This will help students identify where to get the items they need and where to put items away. See an example below.
Seven Strategies For Supporting Students With Autism In The Classroom
Here are seven support strategies for students with autism proven to help them realize their potential:
Discover Other Ways to Make Your Program More Responsive
As this sampling of strategies suggests, training teachers in how to support a child with autism in the classroom isnt about specialized psychological knowledge its about raising awareness of these students situation and showing them simple, straightforward ways to adapt to it.
Yes, supporting students with ASD can take a lot of practice and patience, but its also possible for general education classroom teachers to do, too!
PTS offers our clients inservice trainings for teachers. Its one of many ways we help the programs we work with stay agile.
If youd like to know more about positioning your program for success, claim your free copy of our eBook, Creating an Agile School-Based Therapy Program: An Administrators Guide.
Also Check: What Does Mild Autism Mean
You Cannot Communicate To A Child With Autism The Way You Might Another Child
While you might communicate with other students using sarcasm, idioms, or a raised voice, understand that these type of things do not have the same effect on a child with autism. An autistic child also will not understand if you compare him or her to a sibling or another student, or if you bring up events that are unrelated or old. Best case scenario, these types of communication are confusing. Worst case, theyre scary.
Things All Teachers Should Know About Autism In The Classroom
With education constantly evolving and autism on the rise , more and more teachers are welcoming into their classrooms students on the autism spectrum. While teaching a child with autism may seem daunting, doing so can often prove to be one of the most rewarding parts of an educators career. Here are 30 things all teachers should know about autism in the classroom.
You May Like: Signs Of Autism In 17 Month Old
Christopher Is Out Of Bounds
- Pupils with ASDs are visual learners so they respond better to visual stimuli when marking boundaries within the class or school environment.
- Creating obvious visual boundaries for play activities is very important as pupils with ASDs find it hard to process two tasks at once for example, play the game and watch out for the boundary sign at the same time.