The personal learning network for educators
I am a pre-service teacher majoring in Early Childhood- Special Education, and was wondering if you all had any advice or resources providing information about classroom management for students with autism?
I am a speech/language therapist, and have typically worked 1:1 with students with autism. Perhaps what's worked for me in that setting could be applied to a classroom setting. The most important aspect I've found is structure, supported with very clear expectations, consistent follow-through, and visual supports. Having a visual schedule of exactly what will be happening during our sessions has been helpful. Giving additional visual/manipulative supports for the student to see how many trials they must complete before receiving a preferred reinforcement has been helpful (a penny chart, where they move velcroed pennies to an "All Done" part of the chart has worked well.) Visual timers can work well, also, instead of a number of trials chart. Making sure the reinforcer you use is really preferred is essential.
Best of luck!
Agreed with everything stated. With regards to the visual schedule, you may find it beneficial to provide this child with his/her own visual schedule. Some teacher think that because they have a visual schedule for their class is sufficient (which often it is). However, students on the spectrum lack perspective taking and may see the class schedule as "their" schedule and not his/her schedule.
I'd also strongly suggest not deviating from your schedule without prior notice to the student.
Thank you very much for the suggestions!
From what I have learned so far about students with autism, the information you both shared about visuals and schedules definitely sounds like these provide the support to provide the structure and consistency for these students. They also sound like they are a great step to help these children begin to self-monitor. Do you have any other experience with teaching self-monitoring and self-regulation for children with autism?
Thank you for your help!
This article was incredibly helpful, especially the emphasis on social skills, and on motivation and behavior problems. I recently discovered this link about setting up a classroom for children with autism, http://theautismhelper.com/steps-setting-stellar-autism-classroom-v..., so I really appreciated the additional information you offered. Thanks!
I had a social-cognitive consultant who recommended for a child on the high end of the scale that we try a paiger set to go off at intervals to remind the child to "check in" with his brain, to see if his brain was "in the group" or somewhere else. This was not implemented, so I can't give you feedback, but its always intrigued me, and something we talk about in programming for this child still.
No problem! Glad I could pass it along.
I found the pager idea that you mentioned really interesting. I'm curious as to what would go through his mind as the pager goes off. I think it could be a really great way for a child to begin self-monitoring and self-regulating his/her own behavior. I discovered this article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410197/ about using pagers to reduce rapid eating for students with autism, which leads me to believe that these pagers would be very helpful for children to address other behaviors.
Real challenge for any teacher is to teach an ASD child. They are very special so they need special treatment. I am agree with Susan, they require a highly structured program with an emphasis on the systematic presentation of materials, with a small class size. They learn much better in 1:1 or small group instruction. They are able to learn ordinary rote academic skills (such as identifying colors, shapes, numbers, and letters), special attention must be given to the application of skills such as math and reading to practical tasks like independently buying an ice cream and getting the correct change and so on.
I hope this link will help you.. Autism Spectrum Disorders