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Teachings assistant job with child who has Aspergers. Advice anyone?

(10 Posts)
Slinkysista Tue 09-Aug-11 20:56:35

I am going for an interview for a job as a TA, I would be working one on one with a child who has Aspergers Syndrome. I know all children with AS are different but I was just wondering if you had any advice or have seen any strategies used either with your child or another AS child which proved useful.

I really want this job so any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.



LeninGrad Tue 09-Aug-11 21:25:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IndigoBell Tue 09-Aug-11 22:12:12

They might ask you what you'll do if he is endangering the rest of the class (ie about to throw a chair or something) - correct answer is to get the rest of the class out to safety.

He might need lots of time out from the classroom because of stress - one good strategy is to take him for a run round the field if he's stressed and agitated. In fact I use exercise to calm my DS down a lot.

Another thing is for him to have some kind of discreet signal to tell you he needs to get out of the classroom.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 09-Aug-11 22:27:59

I think you have to get to know the child, because whatever you can read up will teach you less than observing this child. See if you can learn how to anticipate any anxiety/meltdowns, ie through observing and recording any incidents you will learn how to avoid the triggers. Good luck.

hannahsmummsy Wed 10-Aug-11 00:30:27

Also always listern to the parents sending your sn child to school can be worrying and they may need reasurance

coff33pot Wed 10-Aug-11 01:10:27

Good luck smile

Only tip I have is to remember that should the child have a meltdown. It is not their fault, they cant help what they are doing. They need guidence and patience. Always start a school day with a clean slate and a fresh start. Praise time in rather than emphasising the time outs.

IndigoBell Wed 10-Aug-11 08:40:59

And there is always a reason for the meltdown. Part of your job is to work out what the reason was and to stop the trigger happening again if possible.

Maryz Wed 10-Aug-11 08:50:59

What the others said about meltdowns and having a safe place to take him.

But my number one would be: try not to make promises you can't keep. Even things like "PE will be after lunch", and then after lunch it is raining so you can't go outside, and it might upset a child. When asked, for example, "what time is tea" I learned to reply "not before 6 o'clock", because if I said 6 he would be standing panicking at 6 on the dot wondering where it was.

Read a lot. I always recommend this site especially all the "articles" that are linked to at the top of the page. For you this and this would be well worth a read.

And finally, don't be afraid of a child with AS. They can appear to be a bit different at first, but when you get to know them they are often predictable and easy to understand - they react differently from NT children, but often once you understand why, it all makes a lot of sense.

Good luck smile.

Slinkysista Wed 10-Aug-11 14:29:22

Thanks so much for the advice, it really makes sense, I really want to help this child and make their time at school as easy as possible.


amberlight Wed 10-Aug-11 17:07:17

Get the classroom checked out for sensory hazards - flickering overhead lighting, background noise from computer fans whirring/ohp whirring overhead for whiteboards, etc. Should be possible to 'borrow' someone like me via a local charity etc to see what we can sense that you might not be able to.
And make sure your pupil has regular quiet breaks so they can let their brain wiring 'cool down' again.
Watch out for 'free time', e.g. before school, breaks, lunch etc. We find such things intensely frightening because of the noise, chaos, social interaction etc. Work on finding a quiet corner or a definite activity for us to do in such times and we'll be a lot happier and calmer (generalising).

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