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advice sought for autistic child I work with

(7 Posts)
WedgiesMum Sun 30-Jan-05 23:23:40

Hi. Hoping that there is some help out there. I work as a classroom assistant in a mainstream school and in one of the classes I work in there is a boy with autism. He has one to one support in class but we are worried at the moment as one of his recent obsessions is eating the lead out of coloured pencils. Obviously we keep a really close eye on this but I was wondering if anyone has any tips to help us divert him from this that has been sucessful for them. One of our concerns is that we think that the colours in the pencils make him hyper as he seems to get very over excited when he has had a few pencils in a short period.

Thanks for reading this and thanks in advance for any tips!


Jimjams Mon 31-Jan-05 09:20:50

only removing the offending item for a week or so until he's moved onto another obsession. If ds1 needs to do something too satisfy an obsession then we haven't found any other way I'm afraid.

JaysMum Mon 31-Jan-05 10:52:49

I would echo exactly what JimJams has posted.
By removing the pencils from his reach, he will move onto something else.
My own son was obsessed with pencil sharpeners....teacher complained that J had used a whole terms supply of pencils in a month!!!
All pencil sharpeners were removed...he kicked off for a couple of days but soon became obsessed with erasers instead!!!

onlyjoking9329 Mon 31-Jan-05 10:56:26

i agree with what others have said in my experience the only way to curb an autistic obsession is to prevent it completely which will mean removing the item, be warned it will be difficult for a few days and it will move to something else, word of warning the something else might be worse.

coppertop Mon 31-Jan-05 11:47:56

I agree with everyone else. Distracting a child from an obsession doesn't usually work. It's probably best to take the pencils away all together. Just be aware that the boy may replace the pencil obsession with something else.

WedgiesMum Mon 31-Jan-05 20:18:21

Thanks everyone much much appreciated - it is what I kind of suspected, so will now go about removing the pencil boxes from the desks in that classroom for a while. The lea support worker suggested a 'feely' box to distract him, but I really don't think that will work - he's very determined atm!


Davros Tue 01-Feb-05 10:47:54

Agree with removing the pencils, when he's not there of course. I would also possibly give some bs explanation, they've been tidied up for example. Even if he doesn't seem to understand it can help with the other kids and makes it harder for you to give in as you'd look silly suddenly giving them to him having said they're not available.

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