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Classroom environment for autistic spectrum children

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by jarndyce, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    This stems from something I wrote on the Secondary forum, and realised I'd need more advice on.

    On the thread about 'decorating your classroom', I wrote:

    Some children do not respond well to really "busy" classrooms with things hanging off the ceiling, etc. Those who have specific difficulties in processing information if there's too much going on (eg, those on the autistic spectrum) seem to be particularly affected by this. Maybe make sure that there is at least one area which just a bit calmer - not necessarily bland, but something that doesn't give too much of a sensory overload!

    (I don't write from experience, I'm afraid, but this is something that we were told on a staff inset on autism. Classroom decoration wasn't explicitly mentioned, rather things going on at the front, but I think it might apply).

    Am I actually right? I write because I have my own classroom for the first time next year, as a secondary English teacher, and so am planning to decorate it. We don't get many SEN students, but we do have some autistic children, a couple of whom are statemented,
  2. Hi
    I teach in a college for students with SEN. The majority of students are on the Austistic spectrum. In terms of room layout I have found the following to work:
    • Wall displays should be kept to a minimum
    • Pale backgrounds tend to work
    • If you have an area for the autistic students to work independently (when they need 'time out')
    • It's good to have set places for items too
    I suppose the issue you have to contend with, is that other students do like creative wall displays, so it's getting the right balance.
    Let me know how you get on

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