Friday, May 24, 2024

How To Work With Autistic Children

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Graduate Autism Certificate At National University

Church Leaders Working With Autistic Children

The Graduate Autism Certificate at National University is open to everyone. Credentialed teachers can complete the program to enhance their knowledge for practice in the classroom.

Social workers, nurses, those who work in child development, and other professionals can also enroll in the program as a form of continuing education to help them better meet the needs of children and people with ASD they may work with in their practice. Students are issued a certificate upon completion of the program, proving their advanced autism training.

Those who complete the certification program at National University program will be able to:

  • Know the history of the terms used for Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Know state and federal regulations regarding children with autism.
  • Know the landmark legislation and judicial decisions regarding children with autism.
  • Confidently identify the behaviors and characteristics that a child with autism displays.
  • Use behavioral analysis and techniques to help manage and change the behaviors of children with autism.
  • Identify appropriate evidence-based strategies for working with children with autism, and select the best strategy for the needs of a particular child.
  • Organize a structured classroom for children with autism. Work with the families of children with ASD, including providing support for them.

Consider The Learning Environment

Many children with autism experience whats known as sensory sensitivity. This may cause them to have intense positive or negative reactions to sensory stimulation. So, a useful and simple step you can take is making the classroom environment less overwhelming for them.

As every autistic child is different, you will have to learn what their individual sensitivities are. Observe how they react to hearing certain sounds or touching certain fabrics, and see if their parents or carers can offer input. Then, do what you can to remove or reduce any stimuli in the environment that causes them anxiety.

For example, if they become highly distressed by the sound of the school bell, you could allow them to put on noise-cancelling headphones five minutes before it goes off. Make sure you schedule this transition into their routine.

Teach Coping Skills And Calming Strategies

Children with autism absolutely need to be taught coping skills and calming strategies for when they are feeling frustrated, anxious, or are having sensory overload. For lower-level ASD students, they may need assistance with using these strategies and wont be able to do them independently. It is not uncommon for children with autism to seem anxious, fidget, or even have a meltdown. Providing physical and emotional tools to help calm the body and mind are important during times of stress or sensory overload.

Examples of these include providing a weighted blanket, a bouncy seat, a fidget or other sensory toy to play with, turning the lights down, playing soft music, giving noise-cancelling headphones to wear, allowing the student to use a sensory room or go to a calm space in the classroom, practicing deep breathing and stretching, counting backward, tapping, etc. Each child will have his or her own preferences and what is used will also depend upon the situation. A SPED teacher and a parent of a child with autism should have a toolbox full of calming strategies handy.

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Be Informed About Teaching Autistic Children

First things first, when it comes to teaching autistic children, knowledge is power.

Its important for all educators to understand the fundamentals of autism spectrum disorders and know how to recognize certain behavior.

In fact, it is possible to professionally study the behavior of individuals.

Some school systems will offer educational training sessions to instructors on the autism spectrum and other disorders.

If your school does not offer this, learn more about what autism is. Research how it commonly manifests itself in learning environments, including signs, symptoms, and causes.

You may want to read up on what its like to live with autism as an individual.

Talk to family, friends, and coworkers for advice in navigating the wealth of information about autism thats out there.

Learn About The Learner From The Learner

Ten Top Tips for Working with Autistic Children

Oftentimes, educators needing information about a student will study the individuals educational records. While these documents are certainly one source of information, they are seldom the most helpful source of information. Teachers wanting to know more about a student with autism should ask that student to provide information. Some students will be quite wiling and able to share information while others may need coaxing or support from family members. Teachers might ask for this information in a myriad of ways. For instance, they might ask the student to take a short survey or sit for an informal interview. One teacher asked his student with autism, to create a list of teaching tips that might help kids with learning differences. The teacher then published the guide and gave it out to all educators in the school.

If the student with autism is unable to communicate in a reliable way, teachers can go to families for help. Parents can share the teaching tips they have found most useful in the home or provide video of the learner engaged in different family and community activities. These types of materials tend to give educators ideas that are more useful and concrete than do traditional educational reports and assessments.

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How Would It Feel To Be : : : :

Next time you read a book to your class, try asking your students how it would feel to be the main character in the story. If youre reading a picture book about Cinderella, for example, you could ask how they would feel if they had two evil stepsisters who were mean to them. Or if youre reading Peter Pan as a class, you could ask them what happy memories they would think about to fly with magic pixie dust.

This can help students with autism learn empathy as well as how to see situations in their lives from another perspective. It can also teach them how to recognize emotional cues by encouraging them to put themselves in the perspective of another person.

Tip : Create A Personalized Autism Treatment Plan

With so many different treatments available, it can be tough to figure out which approach is right for your child. Making things more complicated, you may hear different or even conflicting recommendations from parents, teachers, and doctors.

When putting together a treatment plan for your child, keep in mind that there is no single treatment that works for everyone. Each person on the autism spectrum is unique, with different strengths and weaknesses.

Your childs treatment should be tailored according to their individual needs. You know your child best, so its up to you to make sure those needs are being met. You can do that by asking yourself the following questions:

What are my childs strengths and their weaknesses?

What behaviors are causing the most problems? What important skills is my child lacking?

How does my child learn best through seeing, listening, or doing?

What does my child enjoy and how can those activities be used in treatment and to bolster learning?

Finally, keep in mind that no matter what treatment plan is chosen, your involvement is vital to success. You can help your child get the most out of treatment by working hand-in-hand with the treatment team and following through with the therapy at home.

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Tips On How To Teach Children With Autism

Teaching a child with autism can prove to have its challenges. Autistic children have unique learning needs and will require extra guidance and support to succeed in the classroom. To best understand how to work with a child with autism, you must first take the time to understand what the child needs and then learn how to help them best. Here are some tips for working with autistic children.

Establish A Routine With Them


The world is often a confusing and anxiety-inducing place for autistic children. This is why they find great comfort in a predictable and stable routine. Fortunately, the structured nature of school is perfect for this, but you need to find a way to make their daily routine clear to them.

Creating a visual timetable is an effective and widely-used method for doing so. This involves placing images and simple words on a timetable, in chronological order, to describe the activities and transitions in the childs day. Having this visual aid gives the child a sense of security, while also acting as a reminder for those who support them.

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If Speaking Doesnt Work Try Writing

If you get to sticking points in the conversation, try restating what you just said on paper. Draw a picture or write the words down and show them. ASD patients tend to think visually, so even if they dont immediately understand what they just heard, they might get the same message if you put it on paper so they can see it.

Dont Approach Parents With Pity

Children with autism bring their parents joy, and theres plenty to be proud of. Approaching parents with pity undermines all that, and some parents take offense to those statements.

Children with autism often listen closely to what adults say, activists explain. Hearing an exchange of pity can make the child feel bad, wrong, or worthless. Your comment could cause more work for already overburdened parents.

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Remember They Are Just Kids

Autistic kids may not act a lot like neurotypical children, but remember youre still talking to someone whose thoughts and attitudes are being formed in an immature brain.

With a little practice, you may find that you can talk to autistic kids just as easily as any kid. The results, for both you and the child, can be both positive in terms of their development of communication skills and enjoyable as you make an interpersonal connection.

Try A Smart Goal Challenge

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If a student with autism is having a hard time with school, sit down with them and pick a SMART goal to work on over the next month or semester. SMART goals are an effective way to help children with autism reach their potential, and they are:

  • Specific
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Suppose, for example, that your student with autism is having trouble learning how to recognize emotions. You could make a goal with them to practice flash cards with emotions on them every day for five minutes and for the student to recognize each card by the end of the month. As long as the SMART goal hits all of the criteria, it can help your student focus on ways to make progress.

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Is Sign Language Useful

Many parents dont use sign language with their non-verbal child, as they feel it will affect their speech development and this just isnt the case. It can actually provide a bridge from them not being able to communicate to being able to speak. It also does away with any frustration that they might feel from not being able to communicate. Sign language can be great for younger children, but some older children may stop using it as they have wider social networks in the school environment and not everyone in this network is able to sign. It becomes less about what way of communicating they are most comfortable with, and more about a way of communicating that the majority of people can understand.

Being Alone Makes Life Difficult

People with autism seem to be living in their own world. No one completely understands what they are going through. Its also more difficult to make friends. Stephen* does not have that problem. He may have had autism, but he always had at least two friends. Stephens mom had triplets he was one of them. Children at the school often had their siblings come along for support and to make things less scary. If a child that struggles with making friends and being social walks into a classroom full of new faces, then it would be a scary situation.

Stephen didnt interact with anyone except the volunteers, his brother, and his sister, but that was still a great accomplishment for him. Most of the children play with the toys by themselves and act as if there arent any other children around them.

Stephen loved playing with bubbles and sharing toy cars with his brother. It was unusual for an autistic child to share, but I think his brother and sister helped him. Stephen was one of the happiest boys Ive ever met. He rarely cried and always smiled, especially when I would make funny facial expressions while reading books to him. He probably had no idea what I was reading to him, but he still laughed.

Its sad to know that these children struggle with tasks that typical people dont even have to think about, but boys like Stephen give me hope. If he keeps on smiling, then his future will go a little easier for him and everyone around him.

*Names changed for privacy purposes

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About Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is experienced differently by everyone who has it. Children and students often need support in communicating, interacting and taking in information. Their strengths may include visual and spatial skills, non-verbal problem solving and both visual and auditory memory.

Educators should work with the students individual strengths and interests in early childhood education and at school.

Handling A Lack Of Responsiveness

Working with Autistic Children
  • 1Understand that a lack of responsiveness is a common sign of autism. They may not know how to offer social or emotional support to others, and a few may display extreme unfriendliness and detachment. Other autistic people deeply care about others, but are unsure how to act appropriately and help the people they love.
  • This lack of responsiveness is one reason for the difficulties that some autistic people face in securing and keeping employment, and making friends.
  • Keep in mind that even an extremely unresponsive child can probably still hear you they just don’t have a way to communicate yet. Therapies such as RDI and RPM can help them engage more.XResearch source
  • 2Teach social skills directly. While many children pick up social skills naturally, just by observing and participating in groups, autistic children often need direct instruction. Parents and special education teachers can and should spend considerable time teaching autistic children to socialize politely and recognize the needs and emotions of others.Advertisement
  • 3Encourage limited social interactions. Many autistic children begin, over time, to express an interest in making friendsespecially if they are offered many opportunities to do so. Set up brief playdates and visit fun places where other children will be present. If your child doesn’t socialize well, explain to them that it is for a limited time only, which will help them feel less overwhelmed.
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    Let The Child Know What Will Happen Next

    For example, After you finish the puzzle, it is time to brush your teeth, or In five minutes it is time to turn off the computer and start your writing assignment. For some children it is helpful to set a timer so the child can keep track of how much time is left. So in the example above In five minutes it is time to turn off the computer and start your writing assignment you would set the timer for five minutes. Some children need reminders as the time is winding down to 2 minutes, 1 minute, etc.

    For children who have trouble understanding the concept of time or numbers, a visual timer can be helpful because the child can see how much time is left.

    Visual timers can be purchased on or other online stores. Here are some examples below that you can click on to see prices and reviews.

    With a red clock visual timer, children can see time running out as the red disappears.

    Sand timers let children know that time is up when the sand at the top gets to the bottom.

    You can even get a free visual timer app on your IPhone, IPAD, or Android device. Just do a search for visual timer in your app store.

    See 3 Ways to Use Timers to Encourage Homework and Chore Completion for more information on how to implement timers for children with and without autism.

    You would need to get the paper laminated and purchase Velcro to make this kind of chart .

    Planning And Resources For Success

    Lisa Sullivan, MS, is a nutritionist and health and wellness educator with nearly 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry.

    It can be difficult for people with autism spectrum disorder to find regular, paid employment. However, increasing numbers of employers are open to hiring adults with disabilities, including those with ASD.

    That said, if you’re an adult with ASD and about to embark on a job hunt, be aware that you may have to jump through more hoops and pass more tests and evaluations than neurotypical job candidates. Here are 10 things to know to help you understand the challenges you may face and where to turn for support.

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    Be Consistent Each Day

    Consistency is key! Children with autism thrive on steady patterns and a reliable schedule. Changing up their routines throughout the day, from day to day, is not advised. Giving a child with autism a visual schedule for their day and sticking to the plan can assist them in being more independent, in preparing for transitions and what is coming up next in their day, and helps lessen anxiety and worry. Children on the spectrum tend to prefer rules and routine over spontaneity and going with the flow. Teachers and parents of these children will learn quickly that being inconsistent is not what is best. Of course, things happen that are out of their control in those instances, it is always good to know what the calming strategies are and also what Plan B is going to be.

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