Teaching Children with Autism

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Autism is a disease that affects the mental functions of individuals and leaves them isolated in their own world. Due to this disease, children and grownups are unable to connect with the people around them and tell them exactly what they are thinking. Autism is sometimes referred to as an inherent disease that travels in a family and affects more people than we can imagine. However, it may be caused by the effect of certain things around a child which are bad for his or her mental makeup.

Teaching children with Autism is a big challenge as they cannot understand and decipher among the different things that are being taught to them. In such cases, teachers become frustrated and even agitated when they do not understand how to get through with such children. Children affected with autism, even lack the ability of expressing themselves by using expressions. This is another reason why teachers cannot understand if what they are trying to convey is being absorbed by them or not.

It may become difficult for teachers to control autism affected children if they get hyper. Those children who bear severe conditions of autism need special care. Teachers with less or no experience in handling children with autism cannot help them learn no matter how hard they try. Sending such children to special schools may not be an option for many.

For teachers who have such children in their classrooms or those who want to help them should learn a few simple methods. These methods can prepare these teachers for the worst situations and even make them successful in their endeavors for giving equal attention to all children alike in their classrooms.

The first thing to understand while teaching a class where teachers have normal as well as autism affected children is that they should not differentiate. However, difficult it may seem, teachers need to equally attentive to all children.

Secondly, teachers should see that are not using many words to teach a single concept to the autism affected children. These children are already dealing with a mish mash of ideas in their minds. You need to make things simple for them so that they can keep their focus intact. Use the modern learning techniques which imply you to make use of activities. Both verbal and written activities will make the difference if you know and understand how to use them.

You can teach children with autism to communicate better by using the same activities. The things that such children lack behind in and the hurdles that they face when trying to convey their thoughts can be dealt with when teachers use verbal activities to make them learn social manners.

Teachers should understand that children with autism can seem awkward. This is because of their inabilities in understanding the proper actions that they should be taking in a certain situation. While dealing with such children, it is important that teachers do not lose their temper. Being patient is the only key that you can hold on to if you want to be successful. Harsh words, body or facial expressions can make a very bad impression on the children with autism and make them distanced and even afraid of you.

In addition to being physically patient, you need to be very careful with the words you use. Gestures and words both can make great impacts on autistic children. So, abide by this rule and remember to be kind. Moreover, always remember that you cannot pour out your frustrations from an autistic child on other children in your classroom.

When a teacher is going to introduce something new in the class, he or she should first inform the autistic child properly. Informing the students should not be in the manner of a warning as this can frighten them. Be very clear, calm and composed when introducing a new lesson in the class. Also try to take children in trust.

Sometimes, it is better to tell a child of the result before a process has actually come to an end. The difference between “doing” and “done” can be easily understood by a child with autism if he or she is made to understand what the latter would look like. It would rather be better to let these children learn through the methods they like. Getting a student to be interested in his or her lesson should be the first priority.

It can be very good when teachers take help from their colleagues. It is not easy to handle crucial situations on your own. Thus, consulting other teachers and learning from their views in teaching autism affected children can be very beneficial.

Teachers need to study about autism so keep up to date. Research on the disease takes place almost every day and is posted on the internet or printed in newspapers or magazines.  Teachers should read the information provided to learn about the behavioral changes that the autism affected children can show in the classroom.

Rewarding students on making efforts into learning can make their progress faster. The children who suffer from autism need encouragement as the efforts that they make in the classroom can be very challenging for them. They have to struggle many times more than normal children to learn a single alphabet. Teachers should keep small prizes such as candies or toys to give to these children and classmates when they are successful in taking a step towards learning.

Teachers should repeat their instructions and lessons to the children with autism. Although, it may take time, teachers should make a habit of insisting the children understand and repeat what they are being taught. Use the same tone and manner that you used the first time to deliver a lesson. This will help the child learn easily and remember the lesson for the next time.

References:

Teaching, (2015). 22 Tips for Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. [online]Available at: http://teaching.monster.com/benefits/articles/8761-22-tips-for-teaching-students-with-autism-spectrum-disorders [Accessed 19 Aug. 2015].

Autism.org.uk, (2015). Teaching young children – NAS. [online]Available at: http://www.autism.org.uk/working-with/education/teaching-young-children.aspx [Accessed 19 Aug. 2015].

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