Hi all, I'm training to be a TA at a SEN school. Mainly we have children on the autistic spectrum (middle - high end of scale)
As a trainee we were supposed to have 2 weeks observing an experienced TA in class but this hasn't happened.
I have been working with a variety of children from year 7 up to year 11 and am finding that getting them to even engage in what we are supposed to be doing challenging!
Without doing the work for them the only thing I can do is offer to write their ideas down or explain what we are doing in simpler terms. But the problem is if they have an idea in their mind then it can be hard to try and change their views without giving them the answer!!!
For example last week some year 7s were designing a holiday brochure for a destination of their choice. One lad had chosen turkey and thought he would google the history of turkey and cut&paste it onto his brochure. I tried to explain to him that the readers would probably be looking to see what they could do at the resort he had chosen but he was fixed on having this bit of text in his project!
I guess a lot is confidence and relationship building especially as they are SEN but any advice will be appreciated!!
I'd be inclined to use lots of visual cues. Draw mind maps, use story boards, bullet point, number... This enables the student to work through each section in chunks, crossing off each one as it is completed. Some students can only cope with one instruction at a time do if you feel this is the case, only write one task down and time bond the task too (eg: you have 5 mins to finish/explain/find info etc. show them the clock and explain visually how long they have).
Also make sure you remind your line manager that you need to shadow another TA as agreed.