Students with autism spectrum always face some distinctive challenges in the classroom while learning. Sometimes they can be overactive, lack focus, also sometimes cause disturbance to others due to their behaviour. As a teacher, you need to comprehend that the children who are diagnosed with autism or a different type of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) generally fight back with all the different kinds of social relationships, sensory responsiveness, communication, as well as the behaviour challenges. Autism knows no limitations in terms of cultural, ethnic, financial, educational or social background; it can affect any family and any child.
Let’s understand it in a better way –
Julia is a 4th-grade teacher and is teaching a child with autism in one of her classes. She said, ‘It’s not possible to handle him, she’s absolutely disturbing and creates confusion in my class. What an attention seeker! Her mother is so difficult and she overestimates her child’s abilities.’
Well, do you really think we have to say much to keep this conversation going? As a teacher, you possibly feel guilty about thinking these thoughts – however, you just can’t deal with her out of the ordinary and disruptive behaviour.
BUT keeping aside these things, let’s move from how you experience how this child feels. The child is agitated and appears out of control while sometimes the child seems nervous too. He is not capable to connect with the other children. In fact, it may come into sight like the child fighting with them over and over again! Can you imagine how this child feels?
WHAT IS AUTISM?
Autism is a collection of developmental disabilities that can cause important communal, communication, and behavioural challenges. Sometimes, the child may speak well but will constantly throw grumpiness and hit others. You will observe that the symptoms usually appear by age 2 or 3.
Numerous aspects may control the development of autism, and it is frequently accompanied by sensory sensitivities along with medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures or sleep disorders, plus different mental health challenges such as nervousness, melancholy and attention issues. Research shows that the early intercession leads to the constructive outcomes later in life for the people with autism.
Here are some productive and effective teaching-learning approaches which you can implement right away:
Respect their Patterns: You need to understand the learner from the learner’s viewpoint. Try to give a very comprehensible formation with a set of the daily schedules and make it clear about which kinds of behaviour are intolerable and which are acceptable. Address the child separately at all times and keep some visual timetables as these are a grand resource for helping an autistic child to stay well thought-out.
Stay Aware of Sensory Issues: Understand what and how they are and why they can be. Try to comprehend that autistic children cannot deal with different sensory issues as their senses tend to endow with them with some unpredictable information. Remember, before just welcoming an autistic child into your classroom, make sure you are aware of precisely what sensory issues are, and what kinds of sensory concerns they are likely to come across in your classroom.
Build a Planned Environment: Do you know the autistic children feel more secure when they have a planned routine with clear constructions with negligible deviations. Make sure that your learning atmosphere and lesson plans are well-structured in a manner that meets all required checkpoints. Give instructions in as few words as possible as children with the autism generally have problems in understanding spoken instructions.
Implement Different Visual Aids: Incorporate the different kinds of visual aids to your class. Visuals are an imperative characteristic of teaching young children, principally for children with autism like line drawings, photographs or language builder picture cards, different videos and so on. Take the help from other tools such as online tutorial videos that convey information in a visual manner to absorb in an easy manner.
Don’t Ignore Social Interactions: You need to encourage the social interaction to help children with the autism to develop the knowledge and skills that are necessary for social communication. Most of the time, a child with autism seems not at all interested in interacting with peers, parents and teachers, but it’s essential to keep teaching them the different social skills. Try to learn to understand their facial expressions. You can help them by paying special concentration to their class’s social setting, sharing the appropriate behaviour to all when it is needed. As a teacher, you shouldn’t be scared to spend time in teaching very precise social rules with skills to an autistic learner.
NOW LET’S SEE SOME DONT’S IN ORDER TO HELP AN AUTISTIC CHILD WHILE TEACHING:
The autistic children aren’t lacking anything. They aren’t faulty. The autism courses for teachers are the learning developments to understand the children with autism. The greatest approach to learn about supporting students with autism in inclusive schools is to include them as simple as that. All it needs to comprehend is a little compassion, acceptance, perceptive, enthusiasm, and change the way of thinking.
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