I am a glass half full kind of person. That's why I'm still relatively sane even though I have an adult child on the autism spectrum who has attended school for 19 years (so far) if you include university and college. Gotta tell you, school was not an easy place for him to be. The speed and the volume of the curriculum, the sensory and social demands...they were all just too much for him to face every day.
Reader beware. This is a rant.
I hear so many stories of professionals with no or limited autism knowledge being less-than-helpful to families and children and I think, ‘I need to take up basket-weaving or Spanish Regional Dancing…any diversion that doesn’t involve the frustration of trying to change understanding of autism within systems of support that are rigid, inflexible, and don’t seem to learn from their mistakes.
When teachers view every ‘behaviour’ through typical lenses, the view is always distorted.
Educators must know autism inside out to have the clarity that allows them to teach the child the way (s)he learns, to interpret what the child is communicating, and to respond appropriately.
We MUST start insisting that only those teachers with the right approach, the heart, the creativity and the training are permitted within 100′ of our vulnerable children. We wouldn’t let a foot doctor perform open heart surgery. Why are we so complacent in allowing educators with no understanding of autistic learners to be responsible for their education?