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Help with planning in an Autistic unit with 4-5 year olds

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by emylou, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. As title says really. I am a new teacher in a Special school in which I work in the Autistic unit and am just looking for ideas to help with my planning. I have spent the last few days letting the children explore their new environment (half were in mainstream settings before now) and I have previous Early Years experience; obviously the sessions have to be short as my group have a short focus. Does anyone have any examples of planning they wouldn't mind sharing with me? Or point me in the right direction for ideas? I am having some issues with planning for "communication" sessions too?
    Many thanks in advance!
     
  2. Hi emylou,
    Thats a biggy! without knowing what resources are avalable in your school its hard to say what you could do.......do you have access to "boardmaker" software for example?
    Anyway a good start point for communication is a morning group folder, basically a folder full of pages with choices for the children to make, simple things such as..
    What day is it.......they have to select Mon, Tues, etc
    Whats the weather........Pictures of rain, sun etc
    The date........numbers 1-31 to choose
    Who is here today........pictures of all the staff and pupils in class.(they always pick theselves)
    Are you happy/sad........lots of emotions to pick from.
    It goes on and on but the point is its a good way to get the pupils interacting, turn taking and communicating with each other. Our morning folder is now about 20 pages thick!! oh and you will need a lot of velcro!!
    Other ideas are a communication diary, where you or the child can write a wee bit about thier day or activities that day, its then sent home for the parents to do the same at night and weekends etc. Its then a great communication tool as you can sit down with the pupil and try getting them to talk about whats in the book. (Just make it clear from the outset toparents thats its an informal Comm aid, not a record of work)
    Hope these help a bit. plenty more where they came from.#
    Good luck


     
  3. Thank you mrhappyman for your reply! We have already got some of those in place as a means of our Greetings sessions.
    My children are non-verbal although a couple are beginning to start babbling and making sounds. I don't think they could manage writing but we use symbols from Communicate in print, we use these for PECs at snack times and I am planning a choice board for during free choice- at the moment the children point or pull the aduts hands to what they want.
    PECs is new to 2 of my class (and also fairly new to me too) so we are using "silent prompt" to assist them, the rest have some previous experience of it.
    Some of the other staff plan "communication" sessions specifically and I think it's this I'm getting a bit confused with- I know I should probably ask but it's kind of clique (sp) here and I don't want to look stupid!?

    Please keep your fabulous ideas coming though as I still feel like I'm finding my feet and I don't want this time to be seen as "wasted" when I know it will take a while to get to know the children and their behaviours.
    Many thanks!!!
     
  4. Hi emylou,
    Just a quick reply, I will get back to you with other ideas for getting your kids to communicate, but this "communication session" confuses me a bit! surely the object is to get the kids communicating in the best way possible, be it verbally, british sign, makaton or PECs as often as possible at all times!! confused!! ha.
    Not to worry, short on time at the mo but will get back to you.
    cheers.
     
  5. Ok, here we go...........
    A good start for non verbal/autistic pupils is a full day to day visual timetable, you can break this down to 10 or 20 minute sections as needed etc, always build in choice/rewards time for the pupils too, but only give them a choice of two things, and not always there fav things either. (Its a huge job but once its done I found it really helped and its easy to tweak therafter)
    I also break it down further so that the pupil has "workstation" with the teacher/me and also some workstation time without me, where they work on "shoebox tasks" this can be anything that keeps their interest, lego, jigsaws, puzzles, stories etc.
    As to communication, there are loads of ways you could plan lessons round this, things like the sharing books I mentioned, or blogs on the internet, if the kids are non verbal then starting them oon Makaton where you can teach them simple signs while reading through a picture book for example has always worked for me. PECS is great to, I use a PECS or picture bank on the wall where the pupils can go and select what they want and give it to me rather than dragging me round the classroom to what they want!! It all depends on the pupils you are working with however.
    Keep a cammera and get permission from the parents to photograph everything the pupils do (great evidence) but also invaluble for non verbal kids. You get devices like "touch to talks" or "Ipads" also to aid communication. Also your kids should have access to an SALT who should be able to help you out.
    Find out what the pupils main motivators are, Nintendo DS, Games, Food it could be anything from the alphabet to spiderman!! But basically once you know then use it as a choice/reward or if needed a punishment (take it away) to help with behaviour.....
    Could go on but dunno if any of this is any good to you...
    Hope it helps if you want more ideas just shout
    cheers
     
  6. Wow thank you so much for the ideas mrhappyman!! :)
    They are fantastic, please keep them coming if you have more?!
    If easier my email is enash5.313@lgflmail.org

    Many thanks!!
     
  7. Don't forget these children are only 4/5 and therefore EYFS. Hopefully not many 4/5year olds have nintendos yet.
     
  8. Ha,
    Good point midgey, I work in Secondary, "could you tell"............I was just trying to think of anything that might help!!

    :)
     
  9. In my class, officially run on EYFS lines but in practice children are year 1 and reception (in age!) we are very free and easy. There are many times when children are doing exactly what they like. They may choose toys they want to play with even if I have put out other thigs for them to do. However there are short times when they must comply with what I ask. So Register time they must sit and listen for their name, this might mean TAs are supporting behaviour and encouraging them to sit on a chair until their name has been sung. Snack time they must sit and wait for snack and if they are eating they must sit and so on. At the beginning of term we managed about a milli second of everyone on a chair..lots of rewards raisins, random toys etc etc. Now we are sitting for about five minutes at register, every one is sitting for lunchtime. My motto is softly softly catchee monkey. Ask too much and you just make your life harder and the chance of you succeeding so much slower. The term is still fairly new and I am sure you are doing wonders already.
     
  10. We have musical interaction and drama games as part of the literacy curriculum, once the props are sorted (kept in a box) with POR for pupils to choose the songs/props they like. Doesn't work with all but those that respond to music it is simple fun and they really enjoy it.

    Also the literacy books have symbols within them or in the bag so pupils can do sentence building or lotto games, links with pecs also with 'I see' sentences.
    Hope this helps a bit.

     
  11. Sorry, what does POR mean?

    Thanks for your replies - you're all a great help!
     

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