Autism is a disorder that affects a person’s social, communication and behavioral skills, as well as maintaining normal relationships with other folks. Nearly one in every 100 children is estimated to suffer from this disease. This makes a teacher’s job in the classroom a little more difficult because they need to cater to all of the different needs of their students while forming their lesson plans. The symptoms of autism can range from person to person, as well as the intellectual abilities of an autistic child. A lot of children with autism can be taught in a traditional classroom. Read the rest of this article to find out how you as a teacher should handle autism in the classroom.
Know their Needs
One of the most important things to do is to know the autistic child’s individual needs before the start of the school year so that you can plan accordingly. Talk to their parents well in advance and learn about their behavioral and learning needs. You can also learn how to properly interact with the child from their parents and help to accommodate them when it comes to dealing with the other students. You should also build a relationship with the other people who work with the autistic boy or girl so that you can help with their treatment, needs and keep track of their progress.
Create a Routine
Children with autism thrive on routine. In a structured environment, autistic children are most successful at advancing in their treatment. Keep the same learning and lesson routine in your classroom. This environment will help the child feel more comfortable. If you do change things up, use transition. This can help comfort children who do not like change and will make them feel better.
Get Rid of Distraction
Autistic children are easily distracted. To help them concentrate better, you should limit distractions in every way possible. If the hallway is loud with the noise of other children, close the door. Put away toys or games that nobody is using and close the windows if it is noisy outside.
Visual lesson plans are great for children that have autism. They can learn better this way and it helps them to stay focused. For example, if you are teaching geography, use a large and colorful map to point to the different countries or continents you are talking about.
Children with autism have a difficult time building relationships with others. This is why it is important to help them interact. Get them to have quiet one on one play time with other students. Be sure to observe the play time closely and remove the autistic child if they need a break.
You can also use rewards, such as treats, stickers and autism toys to further motivate the child to concentrate.
Teaching autistic children in the classroom can be done. You just need to be prepared and know what you are dealing with for it to be successful.