Hi. I am a year 1 teacher in a mainstream school who has only been teaching for a year. Next year I will have an autistic boy and an autistic girl in my class. I have no experience of ASD so wondered if anybody on this board could recommend any books which would give me an insight into autism from a child or teachers perspective.
Also if your child has autism what kinds of things should I be preparing/ expecting/thinking about. I do understand autism is a spectrum and it is probably really hard to comment without knowing the children, but I really want to support these children as much as possible and would be grateful for any wisdom or pointers you could share.
My son was his teachers first ASD kid and she's done really well. She went to an autistic unit to get some tips as well.
The best thing to do is have a meeting with parents.. The main caregivers are the best people to ask on how to deal with certain things and what triggers and what not to look out for.
Changes to routine are really hard. Too much noise and distractions. They are all different but Tony Attwood books are a good start.
Thank you for replying. I'm glad your ds teacher was good. I will definitely set up a meeting with the children's parents.
Thank you I will google Attwood now. I really don't want to let the children down or cause them distress because I don't have an understanding of their condition. I really want their transition to be as smooth as possible. They came to visit on Friday and both seemed happy but obviously that isn't the same as them being based on my class full time.
Thank you for asking.
All children with asd are different with different needs and sensitivities. Some may crave noise whilst another genuinely finds it physically painful. I hope you don't have one of each!
Def set up a meeting with both sets of parents separately within the first week. Ask them to let you know of any 'triggers' that may make their child anxious. If you do this and tell them frankly that you have never taught a child with asd before then they'll be more than willing to work in partnership.
Have a look at this thread, lots of fabulous advice.
Read their statements or ehc plans. parents often put a lot of information into them and all too often they are not read.
ASD children can get quite disorganised (mine are!) and don't cope well with free boisterous time. They might like to be given a little task (excuse) during playtime so they don't have to hang out like spare parts. Any verbal instructions will be forgotten, visual reminders are good, and so is a clear routine. They cannot be rushed but unfortunately can be quite slow getting on with their tasks, and might insist on doing things in a certain order, which seems like a complete waste of time for the outsider. Disruption/noise or any type of chaos could cause meltdowns. However, girls in particular, tend to keep it all in during school time and will explode at home. If you notice some signs of anxiety, a quiet place where they are allowed to regroup could be a good idea. Inside Asperger's Looking Out from Kathy Hoopmann is a lovely book to start with. Boys tend to experience more bullying than girls because other boys are less forgiving of any singularities they may display. There is so much to say, good luck anyway.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
My DD is being assessed for Autism (she has an Autistic elder brother) so far the only real assessment is extreme anxiety and the following is a list of things her yrR teacher is putting in place for her:
Shes entering the classroom via reception two minutes before the bell. The noise of the bell and bustle of the queue from the playground would stress her.
Her peg will be at the end of the row and not shared so she is less bustled by others and finds it easier to find.
Her tray will be at the top end unit of trays like with the peg, easier to locate less bustle of other children.
At breaktimes she will go to the nursery playground with a friend/ small group rather than on the yard (nursery have break at a different time) with hundreds of others. The nursery playground has set up activities to do ratherthan complete free play of the main playground.
At lunch she will eat initially at the top table (its in a room off the hall so quiet and already supervised) - usually a reward for other children.
Her groupwork will be very small groups, she wont speak if there are more than about four other children around.
At hometime she'll come out of the class first.
She has a comforter that she takes everywhere but has always excepted at nursery needs to live in a zipped bag on her peg. She's been allowed to continue having this - ocassionally if shes inconsoleable nursery use it and she's reassured by its pressence.
She doesn't like stickers on her but likes rewards so she's having a sticker reward chart for her class stickers that she can keep in her book bag.
She's having a quiet calm zone (pop up tent) that she can withdraw too if things get to much.
Her teacher is wonderful and has an ASD son of her own so when we got chatting about my concerns post visiting the school SENCO she knew exactly where I was coming from.
As others have said chatting to the parents and giving them some line of communication for any issues (home/ school book?) I'm sure would be welcomed.
Hello all. Thank you so much for all of your replies. Your advice has given me a lot to think about and begin doing.
One of the children came to visit me with her 1:1 today as she had woken up and repeatedly asked mum to come and visit mrs mercury. I discussed with the 1:1 both of the children popping in during the remaining couple of weeks of term so they can familiarise themselves with the classroom. I think I may prepare their pegs and drawers in the next couple of days so they can also familiarise themselves with these. Thank you so much for sharing your advice and experiences with me.
can you observe the child at their current setting?
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