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Help needed feeling worried about a child with asperger's syndrome

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by KeepPositive, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. I work in a primary school and I have a child who is awaiting diagnosis for asperger's syndrome due to start in my class this year (mixed y2/3 class). I am just feeling overwhelmed! The child is currently allowed to choose any activity he wants in class regardless of what the other children are doing, he regularly leaves the classroom and wonders the school alone and refuses to do any work set by his teacher. At the moment there is no additional support for this child and I really have no idea where to start, I understand there will not be any quick fixes but any advice would be really useful [​IMG]
     
  2. Hi I have just finished my first year as a teacher in a SLD school working with children who are on the ASD spectrum. The majority of my experience is based within the lower end of the spectrum but a few of the following ideas may be useful:
    1. Class pictorial/symbol timetable with a finished section so that it is clear when and where things begin and end.
    2. Personal timetable for the child - sometimes used on a key ring or sentence strip - can be showing what is happening for the whole day/morning/afternoon/or a particular session and can include the obvious like sit, work, finished, choose. Helpful if the symbols are velcroed on so they can be taken off when a certain acitivity has finished.
    [​IMG]
    3. Individual work space/station - have a look at the TEACCH system, which we use for children who are easily distracted, need to learn the idea of work/reward etc.
    [​IMG]
    Children in our school have a set of trays containing activities based on their learning targets (the amount can vary between 1 or 2 up to 5 or 6 depending on age, ability, content). The trays begin on ht e left hand side, are taken out one at a time and completed and then placed on the right hand side (finished). The trays are completed daily and changed periodically when the children achieve their target etc. To begin with we have to 'teach' the children how to complete the actitivites but over time this becomes an independent activity. The children then have an opportunity for a reward or choose time. You dont have to use the table/trays etc but could have a box of activities on one side and another box for when they are finished.
    4. Have a box of motivators/choose objects that the child can choose from when they have finished a task, so that they are not trawling through your cupboards pulling out everything. Regulary update/replace choosing objects to keep them interested. Speak to the childs family about their 'special interests' - you will be surprised what can motivate children on the ASD spectrum.
    5. Use a sandtimer for when the child has his/her 'choosing time' so that they can visually see when the time will be over. You may need to begin with 5 mins work - 10 mins choosing but the balance can slowly be reveresed if/when the child begins familiar with the routine. However, like with all children when the sand is finished, then the sand is finished! Stick by your guns regardless of the response.
    6. Try to use the childs motivators within their work, sometimes just a picture of their favoutite Disney character on the corner of their work sheet can be enough. Sometimes it needs to be more. Recently, one childs target was to recognise the correspondance between text and picture. He was facinated by Mr Men and so we colour copied the reverse of the book, cut out the tiny names of each charcter and added velcro. He was then able to match the Mr Men character name to the picture....target achieved!
    7. Use reduced language - whilst many children on the ASD spectrum esp at the Aspergers end seem to have good language concept, they can still be overloaded with sensory input. Only use the language that is needed and give the child time to process what you have said before rewording it etc
    8. Try to find out if there is any sensory implications eg. noise sensitive, touch sensitive as these may be the reason why the child is finding it difficult to stay in class (however, it may just be because this is what he has been allowed to do....high expectations always!)
    9. Clearly display your class rules, in simple terms, without any metaphorical language eg. sit, quiet, feet on floor and use the childs name when referring to your rules/expectations. I always try to use a positive eg. Rather than John stop touching Paul, John hands on knees
    Have no idea if any of this is useful but it may give you a starting point!
    Good luck
    Jodie
     
  3. Wow! Thank you Jodie all that information is great and so helpful! I'm going into school tomorrow to start organising his desk, timetables and activity trays. Thank you again you have been a great help!
     
  4. No problem, just read it back and realised how appauling my spelling is! I spent 4 years teaching in mainstream and know how useful some of the things I do now would of been for my whole class, not just the SEN children.
     
  5. If you can get your school to buy the widget/clicker or board maker programmes then have a huge bank of generic symbols that you could use or simple clip art will be gine. just make sure it is simple and use the same symbol for the same subject/object etc across the board. Good luck
     
  6. I thought this was helpful - a little bump! [​IMG]
     

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