Things All Teachers Should Know About Autism in the Classroom
Being a teacher comes with a lot of responsibility and even more stress. It is a rewarding job but it requires so much patience, love and understanding from a teacher in return. Especially it is the case with the students who require a little more help and care in their studies. Students with autism are a long time welcomed to the education system. People increase their awareness about mental health disabilities and learned to build the study plans around small behavioral or learning obstacles Yet, some teachers need additional information on autism in the classroom; how to find a better approach to their special students and how to teach them. This is a short guide on the things every teacher needs to remember when having a student with autism.
Always keep calm
Needless to say, school is not the place we can show our temper. Especially, when you have a child with autism under your care. These children may require a bit more effort to get to know them and understand some special forms f their behavior. But once you learn their little difference it should not be a problem for you. Though, at first, their changes in behavior, often rather emotional or unusual, can be a challenge to you as a teacher. Just remain calm and try to react as neutral as possible. Your student should not feel provoked or stressed with your emotions.
Learn about the Autism spectrum
Every child is unique in their own way. The same can be said about students with autism.
There no one type of “autism student”. Autism comes in many different forms all across the spectrum. First of all, it is important to note that there are way more people with autism than we think. The thing is, autism is a wide spectrum and many can leave on this spectrum without even realizing it or being diagnosed.
Find the approach that works
This spectrum is exactly the reason why, as a teacher, you shouldn’t expect that your every student with autism will be the same. Every such student will have different needs, skills, and abilities. To ensure you can accommodate every student's needs, learn multiple teaching styles. An approach that can fit best into the special skills and interests of your students will work wonders on their learning abilities. Also, a strict routine is very important for the students on the spectrum. Try to always stick to it and warn about the transitions in the routine a few minutes before it happens. This will reduce stress and help your students to prepare.
Communicate with the parents
This may come as an obvious comment, but communication with the student's parents is the key to understanding the child and finding the best learning tactics. There is no one who knows this child better than his parents. They have already tried many ways and strategies while educating and raising them. They know what works and what can cause an emotional breakdown. Learning from them will be the fastest path to understanding your future teaching strategy. To learn more, you can click this link to see what other help a student can get online.
Learn to pay attention to the details
Students on the spectrum will not tell you everything you need to know about them right away. You need to observe, notice and make notes. Usually many have repetitive behavior which will be the first difference from other students. Learn what it is, what causes it and how you, maybe, can help students to reduce it. Also, autism in classrooms can be a difficult thing to explain to other students but you have to try and increase social tolerance and understanding.
Navigating students with autism is not such an easy task but it is totally doable. Often the main problem for teachers is not the lack of desire or tolerance or patience but the lack of understanding. The recent years show that social awareness about mental health disorders and disabilities are making their way to the public conversation. It is yet a long way to come when difference among the people will no longer be a problem, Yet, now it is possible to learn more and stay more open-minded about the different spectrums of people behavior and perceptions of the world.
*This blog post was written by Sandra Larson.