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Acitivty ideas for a non speaking SEN pupil

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by MEG25, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. MEG25

    MEG25 New commenter

    Hi everyone, i am in need of ideas/ advice.
    I have just finished my NQT year and have been kept on at the same school teaching reception/Year 1 mixed class. I will have a Yr1 child who has been observed by many outside agencies and at the moment they seem to think she has Autism. She does not speak and hardly makes eye contact. I have planned for my T.A to work with her one to one while I do carpet inputs with the rest of the class but I am struggling for ideas.
    Currently I am making resources to hold up at eye level so the child can choose the correct image/digit/letter etc from a choice of two and to encourage eye contact but i am really stuggling on other ideas especially numeracy based.
    She has little control over her pencil so for Creative topics i ahve aimed for alot of tracing/copy work, laminates and white board pens etc.
    Any ideas would be appreicated!
    thank you,
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I'm not sure I would do this. Carpet input time is a time when she can just sit and listen, without being pressurised into looking and speaking. If she doesn't get the input, she will be even less able to complete tasks.

    The cards will be great for 1-1 work, but do have lots of time when they are flat on the desk and she can just point without eye contact. If this child is autistic, trying to 'make' her do what is very hard for her all of the time will be horrible for her and lead to all kinds of problems. Remember your job is to provide ways in which she can access the curriculum and learn and progress through NC levels, not to overcome her autism, specialists will do that if appropriate.

    Is her poor pencil control linked to low ability? If not then she needs to be doing the same work as everyone else, it will just be messier at first. Lots of tracing and cutting out when working 1-1 with a TA to improve things, but the rest of the time she needs to be doing what year 1s do.

    Does this make sense?
  3. Hi,

    I am also an NQT but under my other hat (MUM) I am a parent to a son with Autism. He had no speech at that age and was in a mainstream school (now in MLD but thats another story).
    I would ensure that she is included in the carpet time as you do not know how much she is able to understand and she may surprise you! I would try to encourage eye contact but not insist on it, she may never have good eye contact.
    Having choices is a good idea as she will be encouraged to communicate with you and others. Autistic people tend to be visual learners and a visual timetable will help her to understand what is happening in the school day. You will need to help her to deal with the routine in school and a visual timetable will reduce stress.
    Give her warning of any changes especially when changing from one activity to another. This can be a time of stress and that can cause negative behaviours.
    Give plenty of praise when she communicates with you, even non-verbal communication, this will encourage her to communicate more. We found with our son that he really didn't feel the need to communicate he was quite happy in his own little world.
    If you can, find out if she has any particular interests (often obsessions) use these in learning. For example my son loved the letterland characters and this really helped with literacy. His best friend is into films, will go on about the content, who directed it but also times. His teachers used this in maths, he can tell you how many seconds a film is and then convert it into minutes and hours and minutes. He will add different films together and subtract films from each other.
    You may find that later on she will be excellent at learning times tables and spellings but not understand what is happening or what the word means.
    Also lastly, remember autistic people take things literally! Do NOT tell her to go to the toilet to wash her hands!!
    Good luck and if you need anymore help I will happily give advice if I can!
  4. MEG25: Do you know if the child is the same at home? How are the parents with their child? Maybe the child has selective mutism?

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