Top 10 Things You Should Know About Autism

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Top 10 Things You Should Know About Autism

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Autism

1. Every child with autism is unique. Some children are nonverbal and may never be able

to speak. Many children with Asperger’s are highly intelligent and learn to read and write

at an early age. Savant autistics can have an unbelievable gift for math, music, or art.

Teachers should know that autism is a spectrum, and each child is distinct and should not

be labeled based on his or her place on the bell-shaped curve. A child labeled low

functioning today with proper therapy can move up the spectrum.

 

4. Every child with autism has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. My strength

was memory, and I was able to memorize in one year more than 2,000 Scripture verses.

Phonetics was my weakness, and I was unable to spell a word by sounding it out.

Teachers must use learning styles that fit the child’s strengths.

 

5. Children with autism usually have a special interest. Teachers should use the child’s

passion as a motivational tool for learning new subjects. Julie Ann Reed, whose son has

Asperger’s, said, “If your son or daughter has an obsession, use it to help him or her to

learn new material. My son Paul is obsessed with computers; so I use computers as a

reward system.”

 

6. Children with autism usually have repetitive behavioral patterns. Teachers should

understand the child’s routine and help him to follow his patterns to prevent a tantrum or

meltdown. In high school, my repetitive pattern was weightlifting every day at four

o’clock. If I was prohibited from weightlifting at my set-time, I experienced anxiety and

became angry.

 

7. Children with autism usually have sensory issues. Most of us pay little attention to our

senses. When you feel cold, you put on a sweater. When music is too loud, you turn

down the volume. For some children with autism, senses provide unreliable information

causing great discomfort and anxiety. These children may experience sensory issues with

touch, sound, taste, smell, or sight. Teachers need to be aware of any sensory issues the

child may experience in the classroom.

 

8. Children with autism may display stimming behavior. When you bite your nails, tap

your pencil, or twirl your hair, you are engaging in the behavior pattern called stimming.

This behavior with children of autism can include flapping their hands up-and-down,

pacing in circles, rocking back-and-forth, or spinning their whole body. Autistic

stimming can be a hindrance by prohibiting the child from interacting with peers.

 

9. Children with autism tend to experience difficulty with understanding verbal

instructions. Teachers should write their instructions in easy-to-follow steps and also use

visual aids in the classroom. Make sure your student understands your instructions.

 

10. Children with autism may have difficultly decoding social cues. Inability to interpret

nonverbal communication will cause a child to feel awkward in social settings. Teachers

should teach students with autism to model their peers on the playground.

 

11. Children with autism who lack social skills may make inappropriate and mean

comments. Teachers need to be prepared for a child with autism to say hurtful words and

not to take those comments personally. Teach the child by your own example to say

words of praise and thanksgiving.

 

12. Children with autism desperately need your love and encouragement. Having a

disability can cause life to be unbearable. Many children with autism feel isolated due to

having been bullied ruthlessly by their peers. Your love and support will encourage your

student with autism that God loves him, and he is part of God’s plan.

By |April 23rd, 2015|Special Needs|Comments Off on Top 10 Things You Should Know About Autism

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