TEACHING STRATEGIES TO HELP WITH
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS -
TEACHING PUPILS WITH AN AUTISM SPECTRUM
- Tell the child what
should be done rather than what should not be done.
e.g. Put your
book in your schoolbag. (Rather than “Don’t put your book
under the desk.”
- Give the child an
opportunity to explain things from his point of view.
e.g. “Get your skates on!” is liable to cause confusion.
- Use visual clues to
help explain things, When
giving instructions use simple language and keep them brief.
e.g. when it is time to get ready for P.E. you could show a picture(s)
- Do not use sarcasm
or idiom as the child will not understand it.
or teddies can be used to encourage interaction. It might be easier
for a child to communicate through them. Action rhymes can encourage
eye contact or facial expression.
- You might also consider using a mirror
in a one to one situation experimenting on making facial expressions
and discussing what they mean.
- Children with ASD can become quite
anxious and emotional and can thrown 'tantrums'. This can result
in violent behaviour either towards self, others or equipment.
It may be physical or verbal. Sometimes a soft play area is helpful
if possible, or you could consider using a blanket to help calm
child down. Chances of this happening can be reduced by warning
him/her well in advance of any changes which are going to occur.
Use humour when you see signs of distress to try and difuse the
situation. You might consider asking him to walk up and down a
corridor or similar to calm him down, with one of a 'circle of
friends' if appropriate.
- For pupils who don't know what level
of talking/shouting is appropriate, you could use a volume scale.
Draw a scale, like a radio tuner with 0 to 10 on it; 0 being silent
and 10 shouting loudly. You can use this to indicate how loud
is appropriate at any one time.
|The use of Applied Behaviour
Analysis (ABA) has been found to be beneficial for many children.
This is a scientifically validated one-to-one approach where children
are taught to respond appropriately to situations. At present
N.Ireland does not have any specialised schools which offer this
approach although there is one in the Republic of Ireland.
Autism in N.Ireland by
Mickey Keenan (pdf)
Group for Parents on ABA
|Some children with an ASD benefit
from a very structured approach, e.g. tasks organised into colour-coded
baskets which all necessary equipment. Once a task is finished
the basket can be removed and the next one started. This
helps because many children with an ASD cannot assess when an
activity has been completed. TEACCH
( involves the use of visual schedules and work basket
systems) a method sometimes recommended.
Questions and Answers (pdf)
into Working with Pupils on the ASD spectrum
Help in School
of the Task Force on Autism (RoI)
Acknowledgements & Copyright