Persons with disabilities are NOT excluded from ....

"the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability"
Article 24 CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

How to Help Autistic Children in School

Autistic children differ in the way they perceive things and respond to them. Therefore, they often have difficulty making sense of the world as other children see it. The best way to help autistic children is to understand their special requirements and structure your classroom instruction accordingly. Following a regular routine, preparing in advance for changes in schedule, using visual cues for teaching and removing stimuli that cause a disturbance are some of the ways in which you can help autistic children do well at school.

Instructions

    • 1

      Provide a set routine for autistic children. Follow a consistent schedule with classroom activities since such kids find it difficult to adapt to changes. Keep disruptions to a minimum and inform parents whenever you plan to make a change in the regular class routine so that they can help prepare their child for it.

    • 2

      Identify the stimuli to which the autistic child is hypersensitive or less sensitive. Certain sounds, movements, sights and touch can trigger off tantrums in these kids. Consider what action can be taken to reduce the occurrence of such stimuli. For instance, if the school bell or PA system disturbs the autistic child, consider reducing the volume or stuffing duct tape into the device to muffle the sound emitted. Install a carpet to overcome problems with the sound of scraping chairs. For children who are disturbed by fluorescent light, allot seats close to the window, away from the room's light source or use incandescent bulbs for lighting the room.

    • 3

      Use visual methods to help autistic children understand concepts. Most kids with autism think in terms of pictures rather than words. Demonstrate whatever you are explaining with actions. For instance, while saying the word "up," pick up an object and make it move upward. Teach math using blocks with numbers printed on them. If the child shows a marked preference for a particular activity or toy, use that to help the child learn.

    • 4

      Keep instructions brief and to the point because autistic kids find it difficult to retain longer sequences. Too much information at one time can cause them stress. If the child is old enough to read, write down instructions on the blackboard. Repeat and summarize points at regular intervals to make sure the child follows what is explained.

    • 5

      Provide a lot of praise and positive feedback to encourage autistic children. Avoid general statements like "You're a smart boy"; specifically point out the behavior you are encouraging by saying "You did well putting those blocks together."


Tips & Warnings

  • Observe the autistic child to understand nonverbal ways in which he communicates interest, hunger or exhaustion. Children with autism often use particular gestures, sounds and facial expressions rather than words to communicate an emotion.

  • Understand that tantrums are an indication of the child's frustration. Deal with such episodes in a patient and empathetic manner.

By David Stewart, eHow Contributor


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