Tips for general education teachers
Back in August, I wrote this post for my Autism and Adolescence column in the Examiner.com, and I’m re-posting it here because I’ve received a few emails with questions recently from general education teachers. Maybe there are others who could use these little nuggets of information.
Often junior high and high school teachers have teenagers with Asperger’s Syndrome included in their classrooms, and are not given much in the way of useful information. This column will provide a few practical tips that may be helpful to educators with no practical knowledge about students on the spectrum. For more information, check out this webpage.
Asperger’s or High Functioning Autism (HFA) is often described as an ‘invisible disability’ because students on the spectrum do not look different frorm most students. Most teachers expect them to act like everyone else, but often the student gets in trouble for behaving in a way that seems rude, disruptive or non-compliant. A diagnosis of Asperger’s or HFA is based on challenges in the areas of communication, and social relationships, as well as what appears to be an obsession or passion for a particular area of interest.
Here are some tips that may help the school year go a little easier for you and your student on the spectrum:
- It’s a good idea to have a hard copy of the homework assignment to hand to your students on the spectrum, because most of them are mono-channel. This means they cannot look at the assignment on the board, write it down and still be able to focus on what you are saying. By the time they have finished copying down the assignment, they have missed your intro to that day’s lesson. This mono-channel aspect makes it hard for a student to multi-task, and by only requiring him/her to do one thing at a time, it will be much easier for the student to stay focused. Continue reading »