Autism- Advice for teachers

awareness of autism is growing and schools have a significant role to play in the process in this film we'd like to explore ways that teachers can help children with an autism spectrum disorder or ASD in mainstream primary education by adapting our teaching practice children with an ASD will feel safer and less anxious in the classroom leading to higher attainment levels improved behavior and a lower risk of exclusion we'll look at three areas in which children with an ASD need extra support first planning structure and routines then communication and finally social imagination and understanding emotions as well as offering information and advice we'll show you some examples of these issues appearing in the classroom and there'll be time when you see this symbol to pause and consider what your approach should be planning structure and routines children with an ASD need structure and may find changes difficult a lack of structure or sudden changes can cause anxiety and distress which may be displayed as avoidance or aggression as well as anxiety while introducing structure and supporting the child to manage changes we can help reduce that anxiety and so encourage them to engage more fully with schoolwork and activities children with an ASD will need help to plan and predict the day's activity plan and prepare for changes to routine predict the end point of activities and understand what's expected of them they'll need additional structure for activities that require multitasking their structured activities such as topic work complex tasks group work and group activities team games creative writing and free time Cori story it's December and preparations are beginning for the Christmas play rehearsals have been arranged for the last session of each day Cori is beginning to show some behavioral issues which haven't been noted before including scratching a friend at lunchtime play and refusal to complete is early afternoon reading activity what can you do to help me so what factors could be causing Cory's behavioral issues why is Corey refusing to complete his reading activity how could you help to support Cory Cory's daily routine has been changed and his anxiety about this is obviously feeding into his behavior so the structure on which he depend to get through the school day has been changed without warning we could start preparing for this change in advance and creating a picture timetable clearly showing the sequence of afternoon activities leading up to home time children with an ASD often have sensory problems and the noise and chaos of the rehearsals can be overwhelming for Cory we could provide ear defenders to cut out the noise we can let them sit by the door and agree that you've got permission to leave if it all gets too much we can allocate a different role for Cory so that he only has to attend part of the practice time communication social communication is an issue for all children within ASD many children have a higher level of expressive language meaning what they say than receptive language meaning what they understand and this can often lead to incorrect assumptions about their level of understanding they also find nonverbal communication difficult and struggle to use and to understand gestures and facial expressions not understanding is bound to cause them anxiety and this can lead to refusal or aggression in the classroom children often won't be able to use words to tell you they don't understand there are many ways of helping children with an ASD understand what you mean and therefore make it easier for them to follow your instructions use shorter sentences and avoid long instructions use simple familiar words don't use metaphor or figurative language focus on what they should do rather than what they shouldn't break down long instructions into smaller steps be specific save the child's name before addressing her or him avoid emotional content don't rely on nonverbal communication and support instructions with visual cues Jack's story the teacher is about to embark on storytime and he's asked the class to sit on the carpet Jack sits on the carpet but is facing towards the back of the class the teacher tells jack to stop being silly and turn around and Jack begins to spin around on the carpet the teacher becomes annoyed and sends Jack to timeout for being silly Jack is upset and insists he's not being silly what can you do to help me why do you think jack is behaving in this way what could the teacher have done differently in common with other children with an ASD Jack has difficulty in understanding social communication and interpret language literally the teacher asked Jack to sit on a carpet and he did the teacher asked Jack to turn around and he did as far as Jack is away he did exactly what the teacher asked and now he's confused and anxious because he doesn't understand what he's being punished for if the teacher had been more specific with the instructions then the situation could have been avoided social imagination and understanding emotions children with an ASD have difficulty in predicting how others feel or how they will react they may also have difficulty in creating imaginary scenarios or making sense of hypothetical discussions many children have difficulty in naming or explaining their own feelings and emotions or understanding how their behavior impacts on others so it's important to be realistic these impairments are caused symptoms of ASD and are issues that children with an ASD are always going to struggle with they'll need additional support and structure to understand expectations and success criteria around schoolwork and behavior recognized and therefore being motivated by the purpose of an activity predict outcomes of events changes and social interactions and complete creative tasks especially creative writing they may struggle with or be unable to demonstrate the predictive and interpersonal skills required for Team game recognize how their behavior or interaction impacts on others empathize with other children characters or historical events play in an imaginative way or engage in pretend games and recognize understand and share feelings Megan story Megan was well June the mornings at school and completes her work with no problem but she struggled in the afternoons when the children are directed to do topic work researching material for themselves during this time Megan appears distracted with bouts of inappropriate behavior for this project the children have been asked to show what they've learned in a creative way for example to write an imaginary letter by world war two of a qe2 a mother back home what can you do to help me what factors could be causing Megan's destruction what is Megan finding so difficult how could you help support Megan in order to help Megan we need to see the situation from her point of view the transition from the more formal structure of a morning class to the freer and more self-directed work in the afternoons is causing Megan distress and she may not understand what's expected of her we could break down the work into manageable steps and provide verbal written and visual instructions that are on display the whole time we know that most children with an ASD struggle to communicate but their peers within a group situation and adding supporting structure may help Megan to manage enabling her to cooperate effectively with other children creative writing is always challenging for a child with ASD especially when being asked to write from another's point of view so that Megan doesn't have to rely on her imagination you could provide her with some scaffolding by giving a list of facts about the scenario and allow her to write a short paragraph in the first person using these children with an ASD often cook differently at home and at school some manage better at home while others respond well to the more structured environment at school different presentations in different environments are common with ASD but it would be a mistake to think that variation in behavior means there's an incorrect diagnosis or that the child is deliberately misbehaving the physical environment can be a key factor because children with an ASD often have sensory issues that are triggered by the surroundings they need spaces that are clear calm and ordered and any steps we can take to create this kind of environment at school or help them feel more at ease and in this code we go together like to color the fine bowl finally the key to helping children with an ASD overcome their difficulties and take part fully in school life is simply to be aware of this situation and everything else flows from that the learning with autism program has been developed to raise awareness across the entire school so that everyone's working together to become autism away please refer to the website for more information resources and support asd info whales doctor code UK not the end of 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5 thoughts on “Autism- Advice for teachers”

  1. I know you're making an effort, but please consider that not everyone with ASD has the same issues and that you need to try and understand the individual child first and foremost.

    With older children that should entail asking them what they'd prefer and sticking to that.

    There are definitely autistic people that only care insofar about structure as that they hate being forced to comply with one, especially when it seems to have absolutely no purpose or would even defeat goals (ie: having to do homework/study for a certain time period at least basically resulting in completing your work quickly and being good at something being punished by even more work) and that are great at imaginative writing.

  2. This video seems to state that all autistic children or adults have the same characteristics. There are some people with autism who are great at creative writing. Most people with autism have empathy the problem is they don't know what to do in that situation. Aggression in autism is generally referred to as meltdowns because the person cannot control it. The part about visuals is very true. But if you have met one person with autism, you have just met one person with autism. Another person may have very different and opposite problems. So I find this video to be very black and white and not look at the fact that one person with autism could be an incredible writer or actor and another excel in math and science.

  3. Well Done!!! I watch so many autism videos every day and this is one of the best autism education videos I've watched. thank you so much

  4. Great work! This is very useful for us educators. I will keep this in mind in the classroom. I can already think of a few things that I am doing wrong that I need to change.

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