Here are the top things every teacher should know about special education autism.
Problems with social interaction are a very common symptom of autism.
Impaired social interaction is the trait that most children with autism share, but there is a wide range of autistic behaviors, and kids can have varying combinations of symptoms.
- An inability to make friends or interact socially with other kids
- Lack of normal conversational skills — i.e., starting or continuing a conversation
- Repeating phrases or repeating things from memory instead of coming up with original statements
Kids with autism can easily be over stimulated.
Another common theme with kids who have autism is that they can easily become overwhelmed by sensory stimuli they cannot process as other children would. Everyday activities such as recess on the playground or a trip to the cafeteria can potentially cause a meltdown from overstimulation. The best way to deal with this is to keep track of triggers and adapt classroom strategies that reduce occurrences.
Kids with autism tend to be visual learners.
Just because kids with autism struggle with language doesn’t mean they are unreachable. They are often visual learners; using strong visual tools and activities can help you get through to your students. You can convert other things into visual experiences, too. For instance, children with autism benefit from a visual schedule that helps them know what to expect from their day.
Early diagnostic benefits treatment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 88 children under the age of 10 years old has an ASD, which works out to be slightly more than one percent of kids. Boys are four times more likely than girls to be autistic. For this reason, it is incredibly important for you, as a teacher, to watch for signs of autism in your students. Once a child is diagnosed, the sooner they start getting speech therapy, social training, and medications (if necessary), the more successful their treatment will be.
Autism doesn’t mean a child can’t do great things.
The most important thing to remember is that autism doesn’t mean a child isn’t smart, or won’t go on to do great things later in life. Scientists now believe that some of our greatest minds — people like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and Mozart — may have had a form of autism.