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Autism - strategies that help

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by louisea, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. I have a lovely little boy in my class who we think is autsitic. He is quite bright & knows all his sounds & words (we have covered so far) and has good counting skills and good letter formation. He is a real character but also shows challenging behaviour at times.
    He hates the hand dryers in the toilets, any clapping that happens in the hall, loud music etc. He also cannot line up with the other children and just wanders around aimlessly. He hates carpet sessions and has an obsession with wearing his gloves ALL the time. It's all social stuff that he has a problem with.
    Anyway our SENCO has links with a local special school who can advise mainstream schools in how to manage children who show signs of ASD. About 3 weeks ago one of their teachers came in to watch this child and to offer suggestions/help/strategies in managing his behaviour.
    Having never dealt with a child with ASD before I have found her suggestions really helpful so thought I would share her advice. these strageties follow a very structured approach.
    Children with ASD need to be spoken to in very simple terms e.g instead of saying " Ben please come and sit down on the carpet for a story" you need to say "Ben, carpet". My little boy often stands up half way through a story so I now say "SIT" in a firm voice - and he does it.
    She also provided me a NOW & NEXT board with some small laminated cue cards. So now I will show him the board with NOW CARPET/GLOVES OFF NEXT PLAYTIME/GLOVES ON and he will take his gloves off. I use this all day with various cue cards.
    He also has a traffic light symbol with his photo on it for use at carpet time. It starts at red and I move his photo down from amber to green, when he reaches green he gets to play with his choice box.
    These strategies are really helping me (and him) to get the best out of school.
    If anyone wants to know more please feel free to pm me
    Louise
     
  2. I have a lovely little boy in my class who we think is autsitic. He is quite bright & knows all his sounds & words (we have covered so far) and has good counting skills and good letter formation. He is a real character but also shows challenging behaviour at times.
    He hates the hand dryers in the toilets, any clapping that happens in the hall, loud music etc. He also cannot line up with the other children and just wanders around aimlessly. He hates carpet sessions and has an obsession with wearing his gloves ALL the time. It's all social stuff that he has a problem with.
    Anyway our SENCO has links with a local special school who can advise mainstream schools in how to manage children who show signs of ASD. About 3 weeks ago one of their teachers came in to watch this child and to offer suggestions/help/strategies in managing his behaviour.
    Having never dealt with a child with ASD before I have found her suggestions really helpful so thought I would share her advice. these strageties follow a very structured approach.
    Children with ASD need to be spoken to in very simple terms e.g instead of saying " Ben please come and sit down on the carpet for a story" you need to say "Ben, carpet". My little boy often stands up half way through a story so I now say "SIT" in a firm voice - and he does it.
    She also provided me a NOW & NEXT board with some small laminated cue cards. So now I will show him the board with NOW CARPET/GLOVES OFF NEXT PLAYTIME/GLOVES ON and he will take his gloves off. I use this all day with various cue cards.
    He also has a traffic light symbol with his photo on it for use at carpet time. It starts at red and I move his photo down from amber to green, when he reaches green he gets to play with his choice box.
    These strategies are really helping me (and him) to get the best out of school.
    If anyone wants to know more please feel free to pm me
    Louise
     
  3. Crystalsecrets

    Crystalsecrets New commenter

    I too have a child on the autism spectrum, we use the now and next cards with laminated cue card. We also have a longer version in the shape of a caterpillar, it is seven segments long and we put a cue card on each segment, e.g tidy up, outdoor play, carpet time, home time, in the order of the session. After each segment has been completed he puts the cue card in a special box. We refer him back to it during the session if he gets distressed about times of change and it seems to help him no end.
     
  4. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I find myself speaking like this to a child I have at the moment. It works but I don't like the sound of myself doing it, it feels like I'm talking to a dog. Thanks for telling me it's a recommended strategy I won't feel so bad.

     
  5. I too feel like I'm talking to a dog! We have all commented on this in the classroom but it really works and as long as your firm and don't shout it's fine.
    I find that I have to really think about what I do/say with him in mind. He really needs to be assessed so that he gets some 1:1 help, but the way things are going he'll be in Y3 before that happens.
    Louise
     
  6. I've also used this strategy and it really does work. It was suggested to a friend by a psychologist and whilst it sounds a bit aggressive to an outsider, it allows the child to process the essential information without all of the unnecessary words. It also works for a very distressed/angry child, as they don't have to process as much. Don't feel guilty!
     
  7. Another thing to remember if you have some extra help in the class room, its not 1:1 it is there to help YOU cope with that child. At our school (special) we have children who have come from mainstream simply unable to cope with the fact that we expect them to do things for themselves! Support staff are skilled but one supporting a child in main stream needs to be especially skilled so that they support without deskilling the child.
     
  8. Midgey
    Thanks for that. I've never really thought about it like that, always presuming they are there to help/work with that child. That's made me think!
    Louise
     

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