Posts Tagged ‘autism classroom accommodations’

Prognosis for autism

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010


It would not be fair to assume how an individual child will develop and grow.  It is a fact that all children will grow irrespective of their personal circumstance or educational ability.

 

Therefore the prognosis for autism remains the same, research suggests around 1 in every 300 children will receive a diagnosis of autism with approximately 30% of these children that receive a diagnosis of autism will be classified as high functioning or asperger children.

 

No matter what the prognosis of autism is diagnosed for your child all children with autism will display social skills deficits, the severity will depend largely on the individual child.

 

Children with autism spectrum disorder have a normal life expectancy and in a lot of cases will lead a relatively normal life, once their social skills deficits are addressed sufficiently.

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a life long condition and a diagnosis of autism will not be cured or outgrown.

 

For many children with autism spectrum disorder a lack of social skills can be challenging and cause great anxieties, especially for those children opting for mainstream education. A typically developing child may not truly understand autism and what the condition is all about; therefore this can lead to bullying in some cases.

 

It is a good idea if you are opting to place your autistic child in mainstream education that you make certain the appropriate autism classroom accommodations are set up and that teachers and pupils understand autism and what the condition is all about, this will reduce anxieties and stress for not only the teacher, you and your child.

 

Teachers can use autism classroom accommodations such as visual support cards, visual schedules for autism, social stories and other autism treatments to ensure a positive learning environment for the autistic student.

 

The prognosis of autism in the classroom is very good with high functioning autistic students generally having average or above average intelligence. However it is fair to say that the concentration span of the autistic student may be somewhat shorter that a typically developing student.

 

There are methods that teachers can introduce that will help the autistic student concentrate better and understand school rules. Probably the most significant autism tools for this are social skills stories for students with autism. These are designed to help the student with autism understand what is expected of them in school and lessons as well as what they may expect from the teacher and other pupils.

 

Normally social skills stories for students with autism are written by experts and will follow a pre-set formula which was first used almost twenty years ago. Since then social skills stories have become one of the most significant autism tools available and are used with great effect in the classroom and home of the autistic child.

 

A social story is a short visual script much like a comic strip, that details a skill, situation or behaviour that the autistic child is struggling with for example, recess or assembly the social story will break the situation down into understandable chunks and use appropriate first person text and visual images to explain and answer the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) helping the child with autism grasp what is happening, what is expected of them, suggest possible outcomes and allow the child to feel more comfortable with and in the situation.

 

Sites that offer social skills stories for students with autism can be found at: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

Alternatively other sites offering social skills stories for children with autism spectrum disorder can be found at http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.org.uk

http://www.autismsocialskillsstories.org.uk

http://www.autismsocialstories.co.uk

Problems in the classroom for autistic children

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Chances are a child with autism in mainstream education will not require special education, which means they are unlikely to have obvious learning disabilities. But that said they will still have special needs.

 

The first thing as a teacher you should do is to speak to other members of staff including SENCO in your school. Make sure that everyone understands what autism is and that they are aware of how this will affect the child’s behavior. You should also make the other children in the class aware of their new class mate’s condition and explain that this may affect how the new member of class will act.

 

Probably one of the most significant issues you will need to address is to prepare all autism classroom accommodations before the child with autism begins school.

 

Generally a good start with addressing autism classroom accommodations is to prepare the class for the new student by adding visual prompts or cues, to areas of the classroom for example the coat pegs, toilet, art area etc. Ask the parents for a meeting and try to identify the autistic child’s strengths and weaknesses. You can build on the strengths and encourage these.

 

For many children with autism will prefer their own company, however older children and teens may feel left out or lonely. Sometimes it can be helpful to structure break times to avoid any problems. Sometimes it may be necessary to appoint a buddy system for the student with autism to help them cope with break times and recess.


Many parents will already be using visual aids for autism with their child before they begin school it is a good idea to carry on with these within the classroom also. Generally most children with autism will be visual learners and will respond well to visual aids for autism, such as visual timetables, PECS and social stories. These will all help avoid many of the problems in the classroom for autistic children.

 

Try using visual aids for autism when teaching a subject that requires abstract thinking. You could maybe use photographs or pictures to help keep the autistic child’s attention. Even at secondary school, it is still possible to use visual aids for example illustrations or diagrams could be added to worksheets.

Visual timetables are used to help overcome problems in the classroom for autistic children with routine and any change to the routine. The autistic child can quickly recognize what is happening as has a visual cue for the various different times of the day, like break times, recess, P.E lessons, home time etc.

You may want to include time for the bathroom as this is a confusing time for most children with autism.

Many teachers find using autism social stories a significant advantage, as a tool for helping the autistic child keep on task and understand what is expected of them throughout the day and what they should expect from other’s.

Autism social stories are used with great affect in classrooms for all times of the day and all activities they are also invaluable for explaining classroom rules, personal space, assembly, recess and so on which are all areas many students with autism struggle to understand and cope with.

Developed to help teach social and communication skills to children with autism social stories are written in first person tense with visual images setting out a step by step visual plan that the autistic child can relate to and follow. By simply showing the autistic child the what, where, when and how for all areas and skills that they may struggle with. They are also used effectively for changes to routines, sport’s day and so on showing the autistic child what they can expect, and what others will expect from them.

 

Reports suggest autism social stories should be included in all autism classroom accommodations, experts agree students with autism DO benefit from the use of autism social stories within their daily routines and at home.

 

To download social stories for students with autism visit:

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

 

Alternatively social stories for students with autism can also be downloaded from http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

 

Other autism social stories can be downloaded from


http://www.autismsocialstories.com


How to create a positive classroom environment for an autistic child

Saturday, October 24th, 2009


As the number of children being diagnosed autistic increases, so does the pressure on our education system. Educators of autistic children are reporting increased numbers of autistic children coming through the mainstream education system. For this reason, an increasing number of parents of children diagnosed autistic as well as educators of autistic children strive to give all autistic students a positive educational experience.

 

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that is characterized by a set of complex autism symptoms. As with typically developing children no two autistic children will be the same regardless of their diagnosis and autism symptoms. Consequently, it is impossible to create a standardized education program which will give autistic students a positive educational experience.

 

Therefore, it is likely that in order to receive the best possible education an autistic child will need an individual education plan.

Some autistic students may be on the higher end of the autism spectrum disorder scale, their autism symptoms not so severe they will normally be average or above average intelligence. Although they will still experience challenges in the development and use of communication, and social skills called autistic social skills deficits these are common in autism.

 

This set of autistic individuals although average or above average intelligence will academically be on an even par to their typically developing peers. But their grasp on teaching methods may not be so.

 

Children with autism tend to be visual learners and can gain far more from visual cues and lessons, rather than from oral or plain written instruction.

 

All children with autism have autistic social skills deficits, one of their major difficulties being communication, children with autism seldom understand our use of language and will have a better grasp on lessons if more visual supports are used. Generally autistic students will also have a shorter attention span and may struggle to understand class rules.

 

Consequently, educators of autistic children strive to learn how to create a positive classroom environment for an autistic child.

By creating a visual timetable that can show the autistic student what will be happening throughout the day the autistic student will be better able to transition between the various lessons and activities of the day.

 

Many educators of autistic children also use visual supports and cue’s throughout the classroom the autism classroom accommodations, being small laminated cards showing for example where the pencils are kept, where their coat should hang, the bathroom etc, all obvious to typically developing children but not to the autistic student.

 

These autism classroom accommodations help the autistic student feel more comfortable within the classroom and can help with the transition between lessons, for example from literacy to music and so on. By creating a positive educational experience for the autistic student they will better grasp what is expected of them.

 

Educators of autistic children also use visual supports and cues in the form of PECS cards, and probably one of the most significant supports, social skills stories which can help not only with transition between activities and lessons but also with times during the day such as recess, break time, art, music, assembly and PE.  This autistic support can help educators when creating a positive educational experience for the autistic student.

 

Generally educators looking at how to create a positive classroom environment for an autistic child implement social skills stories to help the autistic child transition between lessons, stay on task, learn social and communication skills, understand lessons and participate, also to help them learn and remember school rules.

 

The social skills stories are used for making autism classroom accommodations much easier. Social skills stories for autistic students are visual representations of skills, communication and behaviors that the autistic child may struggle to understand or that may cause stress and anxieties.

 

All autistic social skills deficits can be tackled using social skills stories, as well as autism classroom accommodations and transitions. To learn how to create a positive classroom environment for an autistic child so that there is a positive educational experience for the autistic student implement visual supports and cue’s such as social skills stories for autistic students.

 

To download social skills stories for autistic students visit any of the following sites:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Techniques for helping autistic children remember social and communication skills.

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Social Skills are an essential part of daily life; typically developing children learn social skills through their environment and through interactions with their families, teachers and peers.

Kids with autism need to be taught social skills directly, due to social skills deficits autistic children do not naturally pick up and learn social skills.

Consequently many autistic children lack the appropriate social skills needed to understand body language or facial expressions, which makes interpreting the thoughts and feelings of other’s an impossible task.

Therefore many parents and teachers look for means for teaching social skills to autistic children; one way is through ABA or applied behavior analysis.

 

Another way is through the use of autistic visual supports such as social skills stories.

 

These techniques for helping autistic children are used with significant successes by parents and teachers when teaching social skills to autistic children and for helping overcome some of the child’s social skills deficits.

For example if you intend your child to be included in main stream education a certain amount of social skills are expected, such as the ability to wait your turn in class to ask a question, manners, good eating habits and the ability to toilet themselves appropriately for their age.

While most school’s will have thought about autism classroom accommodations,  there is still the need for the appropriate social skills to be taught and re-enforced to make your child’s inclusion as easy as possible.

Kids with autism are often capable of working at the same level as their peer’s; but are at risk of not being included in a classroom because of behavioral issues or poorly developed social skills.

Many schools and teachers implement autistic visual supports within the classroom and school to help combat this issue, autism social skills stories are excellent autistic visual supports for this.

Teaching social skills to autistic children and autism classroom accommodations has become one of the primary focuses when working with any autistic student.

Success in teaching social skills can increase self-confidence and lead to positive result in other areas of the classroom and life in general for any autistic student.

A good social story will focus on a particular social situation or interaction. A trip to the dentist, moving school, going shopping, or recess - these are all good examples of situations a social story might focus on.

To learn more about autism social skills stories and how they can be used successfully as techniques for helping autistic children learn social skills visit us at:

www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

www.autismsocialstories.com/school

www.autismsocialstories.com/preschool

www.autismsocialstories.com

Tips for supporting an autistic child

Friday, October 23rd, 2009


The reported numbers of children diagnosed autistic is ever growing with an average of 1 in every 150 children born being diagnosed autistic.

 

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex collection of autistic symptoms, some children with autism spectrum disorder may be high functioning while other autistic children may never develop speech, have other developmental and educational difficulties and be classed low functioning autistics.

 

However all children diagnosed autistic will have certain things in common know as autistic social skills deficits in:

 

Communication problems

Social interaction problems

Imagination and play skills

Behavior issues including obsessive, repetitive stereotypical movements and on occasions self injurious behaviors.


Some children with autism spectrum disorder are especially sensitive to their environment. Noise, bright colors, strong smells, can cause stress and even real physical pain.

 

Within school other children may consider an autistic student weird due to their odd behaviors and use of language and social skills.

 

An autistic student will not necessarily understand non-verbal communication and may struggle to understand verbal directions. The autistic student may also have a shorter attention span, and appear rude, aloof and can come across as disruptive when routines change.

 

Teachers of children with autism spectrum disorder may consider these tips for supporting an autistic child with autism classroom accommodations:

  • Having a clear structure to the day/lesson, with a visual timetable displayed to show what is going to happen.
  • Minimize any changes to routine by always telling the autistic child in advance, and possible help them by introducing a social skills stories to help them cope with the change and be prepared for it.
  • Take all autism classroom accommodations into account by setting up a quiet place “Time out” area for the autistic child to use, as and when appropriate.
  • Try and keep in mind an autistic child may not understand facial expression and figurative language, “theory of mind” Explain everything clearly and concisely.
  • Remember that you need to include the autistic student in lessons by using their name they may not understand that “everyone” includes them.
  • Use visual signs/symbols to back up verbal and written instructions. Autistic children are visual learners and will better grasp visual instruction.
  • Using autism social stories preferably printable ones the child can carry with them, to teach about social interaction and appropriate behaviors for different situations.
  • Be clear and firm but gentle about behavior and apply the school rules with consistency. Remember autistic children need repetition and things to stay the same.

Another good tip for supporting an autistic child is to make other teachers aware of what autism is and of any behaviors they may witness to avoid any interaction, communication and social encounters becoming stressful for the child.

 

It is also advisable to explain to the other children in the class what autism is and how they can best help support the autistic child by being patient and understanding.

 

Many parents and teachers of children with autism spectrum disorder use autistic visual supports such as social skills stories to help alleviate the problems and behaviors occurring due to autistic social skills deficits.

 

These autistic visual supports can help to teach social, communication, imagination and interaction skills which are faced the autistic student either in the school or in the home. To download social skills stories visit any of the sites listed below:

 

www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

www.autismsocialstories.com/school

www.autismsocialstories.com

www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

www.autismsocialstories.com/preschool

www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

Resources and students with autism

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by significant deficits in the development of communication, social, imagination and interaction skills, abilities and behaviors.

 

Students with autism spectrum disorder range in abilities and disabilities, from students with autism spectrum disorder that have severe intellectual disabilities to students that are intellectually gifted. With appropriate resources all students with autism can learn.

 

Although some autistic students may present educational disabilities and challenges, appropriate resources and students with autism can help them learn well, teacher implement systematic, and individualized teaching practices. As well as appropriate autistic resources such as PECS, daily schedules and social stories for autistic students.

 

Teachers of autistic students can help their autistic students by providing clear structure to the environment. Provide autistic resources and tools such as PECS, schedules and social stories ensure that the flow of lessons and activities is understandable and predictable.


Teachers of autistic students should have a clear focus on building and developing social and communication skills. This will help the student with autism develop skills for their current and future life in school, college, work, home, and community.


Students with autism display deficits in understanding and using speech as well as communication both verbal and non-verbal.


All autism classroom accommodations need to be expressed in a way that the student with autism can understand. This can be achieved through the use of schedules and social skills stories for autistic students.


Autistic children tend to be visual learners. In addition to providing autistic visual supports for understanding classroom expectations, many students with autism spectrum disorder will also need autistic visual supports to help them find means of communicating both verbally and non-verbally.

 

Generally all students with autism will have deficits with communication and may display difficulties expressing their needs and desires.


Teachers are finding the use of autistic visual supports such as social skills stories is helping students with autism cope within the school and classroom environment more efficiently. Social skills stories are actually helping students understand autism classroom accommodations easier as well as the rules of the school, plus what is expected of them throughout the day.

 

Social skills stories are used widely for autistic children and can now be downloaded straight from the internet. Sites offering autistic students school resources such as: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

 

Are easy to navigate and offer excellent support to teachers of autistic students as well as parents and other professionals; resources and students with autism.

 

Other sites offering downloads of social stories include:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

Teaching autistic students

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009


If you have decided that your autistic child will attend mainstream education, you should first consider whether the mainstream school of your choice can meet their special educational needs.

 

Many techniques used in mainstream education will not necessarily suit a child with special needs such as autism.

 

Generally children have three basic learning styles;

Visual learners - this group will learn better through visual methods like pictures, images and by watching demonstrations.

 

Auditory learners - this group learn best through listening, for example to tapes, recordings and to explanation given verbally like lectures etc.

 

Kinesthetic learners - this group learn best through movement, practice for example they learn through imitation watching and doing or repeating what they have just witnessed.

 

With normally developing children they can embrace two or even three of these styles easily, for example they may be a visual learner (prefer to learn visually) but will equally be able to process and learn information in other ways like auditory and or kinesthetically.

 

But when considering teaching autistic students it is a good idea to remember that generally autistic children are normally visual learners and will not respond so well to auditory lessons and group discussions etc.

 

Therefore teaching autistic children needs to be modified slightly to embrace the visual learning skills, for example use more visual aids like pictures, images and visual prompts.

 

An autistic educator can help his/her autistic student by creating a more suitable atmosphere and take autism classroom accommodations into consideration


For example what do I mean by autism classroom accommodations? Well put simply the layout of the classroom, the feel and atmosphere, is it noisy, hard to navigate, dark, light etc..

 

A good starting point when considering teaching autistic students is placing visual prompts or cues around the classroom, for example remembering autistic children are visual learners, a picture of a chair and desk above their work station, to show this is where they will be expected to sit.

 

A picture of a toilet above the bathroom, a picture of their coat peg above where there coat will hang and so on..

 

Generally autism classroom accommodations will also include visual prompts such a visual timetable/schedule, mini schedule if needed, now and next board if needed and of cause probably the most important of all social skills stories.

 

These are visual cues demonstrating lessons, skills, activities, events and situations that the autistic student will encounter each day.

 

For example autism social skills stories are used to show, teach and help the autistic child rehearse prepare and be more comfortable with the days planned activities and lessons, like recess for example suitable autism social skills stories explain what recess is and what will happen as well as the expected rules, giving the autistic child coping methods which can cut down anxieties.

 

They can also be used to teach vital social skills like using the toilet, eating, sharing, teasing and joining in play.

 

All autistic educators can benefit from a strong back up of suitable autism social skills stories to help them when teaching autistic students.

 

You can download autism social skills stories for the autism classroom and the autistic student from

 

www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

www.autismsocialstories.com

www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

 

 

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www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

Autism social stories – Autism special needs students

Saturday, November 15th, 2008


As more and more special needs students with autism are coming into mainstream regular classrooms, teachers are faced with the challenge of meeting their needs as well as the needs of all students within their classroom.

 

So how do teachers cope with autism in the classroom? Autism and classroom accommodations need to be put in place before the autistic student starts school.

 

Nurturing the parent-teacher relationship is key. A meeting with the child’s parents should be held prior to the start of the school year. Parents can help identify the pragmatic skills in the autistic child, learning patterns, current cognitive skills, and the behavioral techniques that are used with the child.

 

All autism classroom accommodations should be noted and all the appropriate adults in the child’s care team should be involved, like school speech therapist, occupational therapist, special education teacher.

 

Students with autism will often struggle to express what they need or what they don’t understand.

 

Autism in the classroom can be helped by using visual cues around the classroom, for example above the bathroom a picture of a toilet, sink with the written word on show also. Using visual cues can help the autistic child quickly identify certain areas, without feeling frustrated.

 

Pictures and words should be used all around the classroom to help identify areas such as where coats and lunches are stored, pencils are sharpened, and books are put on the shelf.

 

As well as visual cues the teacher should have the appropriate autism social stories

….Autism social stories are designed as a tool for helping parents, teachers of autistic children better cope with challenging and often frustrating behaviors.

 

Social stories will act as a best friend to the autistic child…helping them cope with all the daily activities in school, as well as helping with all classroom accommodations and as an aid in pragmatic skills in autistic children.

 

To obtain your social stories to help manage autistic behavior in the classroom and at school visit

 

www.autismsocialstories.com/school

 

alternatively for all other social stories visit

www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

www.autismsocialstories.com/socialskills

www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teen

www.autismsocialstories.com/howto

Supporting an autistic child

Thursday, August 21st, 2008


There are more children now being diagnosed autistic than ever before.

 

Autistic children are all different; they will have different degrees of severity, and different need’s.

 

However they will all have certain things in common like:

Communication problems

Social interaction problems

Behavior issues

 

Plus some autistic children are especially sensitive to their environment. Noise, bright colors, strong smells, can all cause stress and even real physical pain.

 

In a school environment other pupils may well consider an autistic child “odd”

 

One thing a teacher need’s to keep in mind is that each autistic child will react in different ways. If you have an autistic child beginning in your class it may help you to speak with the child’s classroom helper, or assistant, before they start in your class. If there is no helper to speak with, then making time to talk to the child’s parents will be a good idea.

 

You need to establish from them exactly which conditions are most conducive to learning and good behavior. In addition, you can help by:

 

  • Having a clear structure to the day/lesson, with a visual timetable displayed to show what is going to happen.
  • Minimize any changes to routine by always telling the autistic child in advance, and possible help them by introducing a social story to help them cope with the change and be prepared for it.
  • Take all autism classroom accommodations into account by setting up a quiet place “Time out” area for the autistic child to use, as and when appropriate.
  • Try and keep in mind an autistic child may not understand facial expression and figurative language, “theory of mind” Explain everything clearly and concisely.
  • Remember that you need to include the child by using their name they may not understand that ‘everyone’ includes them.
  • Use visual signs/symbols to back up verbal and written instructions.
  • Using autism social stories preferably printable ones the child can carry with them, to teach about social interaction and appropriate behaviors for different situations.
  • Be clear and firm but gentle about behavior and apply the school rules with consistency. Remember autistic children need repetition and things to stay the same.

 

You can also help support an autistic child by talking to other member’s of staff and explain what autism is and how the behavior of an autistic child will differ from that of a normally developing child.

 

It will also be a good idea to explain to the other children in the class what autism is and how they can help support the autistic child by being patient and understanding.

 

You may also want to consider setting up a buddy system as autistic children find making and sustaining friendships difficult and can be at time easy targets for bullies.

A good source of autism social stories to help with the problems faced by autistic children, their parents, carer’s and educators can be found at:

www.autismsocialstories.com/school

www.autismsocialstories.com

www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

www.autismsocialstories.com/family

www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

www.autismsocialstories.org.uk

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources 

www.autismsocialstories.com/aggression

www.autismsocialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

www.autismsocialstories.com/howto

 

How to deal with the problems with autistic children in school?

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008



Problems with autistic children in school?

 

Chances are an autistic child who is in mainstream education will not require special education, which means they are unlikely to have obvious learning disabilities. But that said they will still have special needs.

 

The first thing as an autistic educator you should do is to speak to other members of staff and the SENCO in your school. Make sure that everyone understands what autism is and that they are aware of how this will affect the autistic child’s behaviour.

 

Sometimes it is helpful to explain to the other children within the class what autism is. This will help to prepare them for the autistic child starting school. It will be helpful to explain that the new class member may act differently or strangely - for example they may shout out unexpectedly or laugh at inappropriate things.

 

You ought to explain that although the autistic child may act inappropriately that this is not intentional and they too have feelings like everybody else. This is an important thing to stress as it will be very easy for the autistic child to become, the focus of taunts, bullying and teasing if the other children in the class and school do not understand the autistic child’s behavior and mannerisms.

 

Probably one task as an autistic educator you should undertake before the autistic child begins in your class is to take a note of all the classroom accommodations.

 

Autism classroom accommodations to consider:

 

Make a note of the autistic child’s special need’s for example going to the bathroom, with autism going to the bathroom can be an issue, find out how the child copes with this and if necessary add signs at the bathroom, (small picture cards with text) to avoid embarrassment and allow the autistic child to identify the bathroom.

 

Ask the parents for a meeting and try to identify the autistic child’s strengths and weaknesses. You can build on the strengths and encourage these.

 

Sometimes it may be necessary to appoint a helper (LSA) or classroom assistant, to help the autistic child within the classroom.

 

The autistic child’s  helper’s role should be to encourage the child to be more independent, work on task’s and to mix with other children.

 

It will probably especially at first to keep an eye on the child at break times and during recess, when they might spend a lot of time on their own.

 

Autistic children tend to like prefer their own company, however older children and teens may feel left out or lonely. Sometimes it can be helpful to structure break times to avoid any problems.

 

Try and avoid metaphorical speech, for example “wait a minute”, autistic children tend to very literal and will not understand. Avoid sarcastic language, or exaggeration, and nick names, both when you are speaking to the child and to the class as a whole. Always be aware of what you are saying and how it might be misunderstood by the child.

 

You may need to repeat yourself during lessons and keep checking the autistic child is still listening, their attention span can be short especially when something is not of interest to them.

 

When you are talking to a group, make sure you have the child’s attention. Especially young children they may not understand that they are included in the group, so you may need to include them by talking to them directly ie by saying their name or talk first, then to the whole class.

 

As with listening to a foreign language or something you really have no interest in, we all tend to shut off to it. A child with autism is no different, as soon as a couple of sentences go over their head they will shut down their auditory system and stop listening reverting back into their own world.

 

Try using visual aids when teaching a subject that requires abstract thinking. You could maybe use photographs or pictures to help keep the autistic child’s attention.

 

Even at secondary school, it is still possible to use visual aids for example  illustrations or diagrams could be added to worksheets.

 

Visual timetables are used with a great success, the autistic child can quickly recognise what is happening as has a visual cue for the various different times of the day, like break times, recess, p.e. lessons, home time etc.

 

You may want to include time for the bathroom as this is a confusing time for most children with autism.

 

You may also want to think about the use of autism social stories as a tool for helping children with autism stay on task and understand what is expected of them throughout the day and what they should expect from others.

 

Autism social stories are used with great effect in classrooms and can be like a favorite friend to a  child with autism, and an autistic educator a like! Used in conjunction with a visual timetable and set behavior plan, autism social stories will become invaluable.

 

A good source for social stories is your OT or alternatively you can obtain autism social stories on line at:

www.autismsocialstories.com/school

www.autismsocialstories.com

www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources 

www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

www.autismsocialstories.com/socialskills

www.autismsocialstories.com/howto

www.autismsocialstories.com/potty

www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens

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www.autismsocialstories.co.uk

Teaching Social Skills to Autistic Children

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Children with autism need to be taught social skills directly, as they do not easily pick up on these skills from their environment like a normally developing child will, children with autism tend not to pick up on social skills and are unable to understand body language or facial expressions, which makes interpreting the thoughts and feelings of other’s an impossible task.

Teaching social skills to autistic children can take many forms; one way is through ABA or applied behavior analysis. Another way is through the use of “social skills stories”….

It is very important to think about how you will help your child understand the need for certain social skills.

For example if you intend your autistic child to be included in main stream education a certain amount of social skills is important. The ability to wait your turn in class to ask a question, manners, good eating habits and the ability to toilet themselves appropriately for their age.

While most school’s will have thought about asperger classroom accommodations, or autism classroom accommodations, there is still the need for the appropriate social skills to be taught and re-enforced to make your child’s inclusion as easy as possible.

Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome are often capable of working at the same level as their peer’s; but are at risk of not being included in a classroom because of behavioral issues or poorly developed social skills.

The “autism social skills stories” have become an excellent tool for teaching those valuable social skills.

Teaching social skills to autistic children has become one of the primary focuses when working with autistic children.

Success in teaching social skills to the autistic child can increase self-confidence and lead to positive result in other areas of the classroom and life in general for an autistic child.

A good social story will focus on a particular social situation or interaction. A trip to the dentist, moving school, going shopping, or recess - these are all good examples of situations a social story might focus on.

To learn more about autism social stories and how they can be used for teaching social skills to autistic children visit us at

www.autismsocialstories.com

www.autismsocialstories.com/school

www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

www.autismsocialstories.com/family

www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

www.autismsocialstories.com/socialskills

www.autismscoialstories.com/howto

www.autismscoialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

www.autismscoailstories.com/high_functioning_autistic_aggression

www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens

 

www.autismsocialstories.com/potty

 

www.autismsocialstories.com/aggression

www.autismsocialstories.co.uk

www.autismsocialstories.org.uk