10 Teacher Tips when a Child has Autism
1. Read whatever you can to become familiar with the condition(s), but every child is different.
2. Communication with parents is the most important thing. Parents can know their triggers, loves, annoyances, coping mechanisms, etc. If the child has a bad day (got up late, substitute teacher, tests, and that ALWAYS happens on a Wednesday!), find out how to soothe the child and what works to help him transition to your class.
3. The majority of these children do poorly in competitive games and loud environments, so be ready to give them an important job instead of forcing them into a relay race.
4. If there are rules, they take them VERY seriously. Find them a helper friend if needed.
5. Explain proper ways to redirect or discipline the child with autism to your other workers. Example: don’t grab the child and move them if they aren’t obeying. To a child with sensory issues, it’s an assault.
6. Have a quiet place for them when noise from music, group activities is too much
7. Give verbal notice before activity change (at least five minutes) – transition is difficult for many
8. Have a visual schedule of activities in the room. Mark with clothespin, clip, etc. an activity as you are doing it.
9. Provide a buddy.
10. Your relationship and your teacher’s relationship with the child are so important. The child needs to know that you’re here to help them succeed and they can talk openly with you (if they are verbal). I have a five year old now and it’s taken me two years to win her trust (she has major family dynamic problems as well). When she’s having a bad time, her teacher texts me and I’ll get her from class. We’ll just sit in the hall and talk through things. We can usually figure out why she is having a bad time and she helps me come up with solutions to help her deal with her world. We talk about cause and effect, choices and consequences.
How do you explain the gospel with a kid on this spectrum using only concrete terms?