Practical Autism Tips Here (PATH) Newsletters from NW Regional ESD
Stranger Danger (10/2013)
Safety Tips (10/2013)
Reducing Sensory Overload (9/2013)
Transitioning Back to School (9/2013)
Tips to Stop Bullying (9/2013)
Emergency School Drills (9/2013)
Tried and True Tips for Working with Students with ASD
- Children with autism get lost in lengthy verbal exchanges. Keep it concrete: Say what you mean and mean what you say. Slow down, allow time for the child with autism to process what you are saying and interpret it’s meaning, and remember words are not the only form of communication.
- Many people with autism are visual thinkers. Some say thoughts are like videotapes running in their imagination. Present information in a visual manner, so that children with autism have something to reference. Nouns are the easiest words to learn because you can make a picture in your mind of the word. To learn words like “up” or “down,” the teacher should demonstrate them to the child. For example, take a toy airplane and say “up” as you make the airplane takeoff from a desk.
- Behavior is communication! All behavior has a purpose. It provides information about how the child with autism may perceive the world around him, or about the relationship between you and him. It cannot to be taken personally, but must be investigated so it can be addressed at the source.
- Avoid long strings of verbal instructions. People with autism have problems with remembering the sequence. If the child can read, write the instructions down on a piece of paper. Some kids with autism will only remember the first or last thing you say. Directions with more than one step have to be written down.
- Many children with autism get fixated on one subject such as trains or maps. The best way to deal with fixations is to use them to motivate schoolwork. If the child likes trains, then use trains to teach reading and math. Read a book about a train and do math problems with trains. For example, calculate how long it takes for a train to go between New York and Washington.
- Writing may always be a challenge. Many children with autism have problems with motor control in their hands, and they are not able to write as fast as they can think. Neat handwriting is sometimes very hard. This can totally frustrate the child. To reduce frustration and help the child to enjoy writing, let him type on the computer.
- Some children with autism cannot process visual and auditory input at the same time. They are mono-channel. They cannot see and hear at the same time. They should not be asked to look and listen at the same time. They should be given either a visual task or an auditory task. Their immature nervous system is not able to process simultaneous visual and auditory input.
- Teaching generalization is often a problem for children with autism. To teach a child to generalize the principle of not running across the street, it must be taught in many different locations. If he is taught in only one location, the child will think that the rule only applies to one specific place.
- Children with autism think and learn differently. This may require that you teach differently. Children with autism must be taught in a way that ismeaningful to them. This means that children with autism need help connecting the pieces together to form the relationship or the whole picture. Because we are used to thinking this way, it is hard to imagine not being able to do this independently.
- Teach children with autism HOW to do things, not just what to do. Instruct them in a manner that will allow them to be potentially independent adults.