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?
On that note, I created his wish list of teaching practices, after a flurry of heart wrenching school-based situations made me think these ought to be shared.
To be clear, I am not a schoolteacher, though I do teach and spent lots of time in classrooms as an autism consultant. I’m an advocate and autism champion, an autistic writer, parent, grandparent, parent of special education teachers, and my full time work is in the autism field. I do parent-trainings, assist with IEPS, write and deliver autism workshops and have had the great pleasure of working with many excellent teachers who understand our children or work to find answers if they’re stuck.I share these strategies with teachers and families I have supported, and have used them with my own autistic child. I hope that something in here is helpful for you and your child.
Anyhoo…here you go:
+ I just checked my degree. Yep. I’m a teacher, not a psychiatrist, so I’ll never tell you to consider medication for her.
They need to be taught in the way that they learn.
I’m doing that.
If they are awake so late, it is no wonder they can be very groggy in the morning. Mornings can be tough on my students, so I watch what I expect of them first thing in the day. In the A.M., I prepare lesson plans with preferred and alerting activities for those who need the extra time to be fully awake.
I don’t take it personally, but I do want to know how to help make things better.