Autism spectrum disorder is a problem that affects around 1% of children in Europe, according to data from a study conducted by the International Autism-Europe Association in 2015. Dealing with it in the classroom can be complicated for teachers who have not received specific preparation or instruction for it. These five tips for working with children with autism can help teachers with students with these characteristics in class.
Provide them with an agenda that anticipates everything that is going to happen in the next 45-60 minutes
Students with autism are extremely organized and are not able to digest impromptu changes in their planning well. For this reason, it is recommended that they have a perfectly structured agenda so that they can prepare and be aware of everything that is going to happen next. In these cases, it is recommended that the teacher coordinates with the family in order to jointly establish a precise calendar. In this way, the student will be able to predict situations and control her behavior.
Avoid, as far as possible, sound stimuli
It is possible that they have sensory hypersensitivity and associate certain sound stimuli as stressful signs, so it is possible that, in the presence of certain sounds, such as ‘listening’ in English or songs in subjects such as Music, their ears become clogged. It would be advisable to avoid as much as possible this type of stimuli that can be annoying for them.
Establish a ‘greeting’ moment
An occupational therapist at a specialized center can be used to practice declarative functions with students, such as offering or asking for something, and also courtesy rules when greeting their classmates. One of the problems that children with autism suffer from is that their social skills are diminished, so rehearsing them in the classroom can mean a great change in their lives.
Repetitive table work
It is vitally important that the tasks they carry out at their desks are always structured in the same way. In other words, if during class time, the student has gotten used to doing Mathematics tasks first, then Spanish Language and finally English, it is very important that they always follow this order since altering it will lead them to feel out of place. In addition, the visual elements must prevail over the textual ones, so it is indicated to use materials such as pictograms, puzzles and even plasticine, with which you can experiment sensorially.
The teacher must adapt to the student and not the other way around.
With children with ASD, the classic teaching method based on trial and error does not work. The teacher must take the interests and curiosities of the student himself as a starting point for his education. It is recommended that the teacher limit himself to providing all the materials and resources that he needs to carry out the tasks and then gradually withdraw them, never abruptly. It must always be taken into account, as the first advice indicates, that its adaptability to changes is low.
However, it is very important to know that there are different types and degrees of autism, so from the classroom, it is always necessary to evaluate what are the characteristics of the student or students who suffer from this disorder in order to adapt the methods to their learning pace.
Offer specialized education
Students with autism spectrum disorder have access to an exceptional education at Lexington Life Academy Phoenix-South Mountain. The areas of academic success, prosocial growth, behavior modification, and therapeutic outcomes are where we really shine. With Lexington, your student will have a family and a community of educators behind them the whole way through their educational journey, from elementary school to college and beyond. Have faith that Lexington will be by your side the whole way!
Children on the autism spectrum are welcome to attend Pre-K through 12th grade school. Adapting to the unique needs of each child, they lay a solid groundwork upon which they can build their academic, behavioral, and social skills and ultimately realize their full potential.
Developmentally disabled people in Lexington can take advantage of an After School Program, an Adult Program, and a Summer Program. Members have access to a variety of in-clinic and at-home treatment options. Transport might also be accessible at the Phoenix, Mesa, and Show Low offices.
The Founder and CEO Harrison Rogers has long held the view that each person has a unique way of learning. After witnessing his sister’s struggles in school due to her severe autism, Harrison was determined to fix what he saw as a flaw in the traditional educational system. This drive led him to create Lexington.