Blog Archive

Friday 17 May 2019

Supporting Students with Autism

Mike Marsh writes:

As the cliche goes if you have met one autistic student, you have met one autistic student.  Autism, has such a range from those who cannot use language at all to those who present TV programmes or are paid public speakers.

There are some things that we can do in the classroom to support all of our students with autism.

Probably the best piece of advice is to speak to the student.  We know autism is a range of impairments that affect social communication, social interaction and behaviours.  Many autistic people also have sensory difficulties around, smell, taste, noise or textures.  The expert is the person themselves.  Where do they find it best to sit in your room?  What cues or prompts do they need from you?  It is useful to know if they have any specific interests which you could tap into during lessons. Whilst there will be some information in their student profile your classroom environment is unique and may present unique challenges- even if it is something as straightforward as feeling comfortable with the person they sit next to.

Some ‘basics:
1.  Have a routine for your classroom and give warning if this routine will change- a clear set seating plan, a driving question, whole class questioning. However you structure your lessons keeping to a routine will reduce anxiety which in turn increases students ability to learn.
2.  Have a To do list or lesson structure either on the board for all or in front of the student.
·   3.  Keep instructions simple give information in chunks.  For some students back this up with written or visual prompts.
·   4.  Regularly check for understanding.
    Further Reading:
A short introduction:

More detailed information , Units 11-20 are the most useful from a classroom perspective.

Information on why girls are under diagnosed and how to support girls in the classroom.

Dean Beadle excerpt from a talk about being Autistic.

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