General Question

miminana's avatar

How do you teach an autistic child?

Asked by miminana (7points) October 27th, 2010

i have an autistic pupil in my class, he is with the regular pupils, how do about his learning process?

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7 Answers

squirbel's avatar

It seems this question is more of a complaint, rather than actually taking vested interest in teaching him; but if I were in your situation I would first consult another teacher who specializes in teaching students with his condition, and second, reading different books written by teachers who have discovered successful methods.

Here are some online books that you can have access to through Google Books.
Teaching Young Children with Autism Spectrum….
Teaching and Mainstreaming Autistic Children

Good luck.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I know a number of people who have worked with and taught students on the spectrum who have found Applied behavioral Analysis to be very helpful. There are many more websites than this, I suggest you look into it.

Welcome to Fluther

crisw's avatar

JilltheTooth is absolutely correct. ABA is the gold standard for teaching autistic kids- it has by far the most research supporting it (there are lots and lots of wacky, unresearched quack methods out there- beware!) You might want to take a look at the Children’s Workshop pages at the school where I work, as they specialize in teaching autistic kids.

mrlaconic's avatar

I second what @squirbel said about consulting with someone who is specifically trained for that.. as for you for the immediate future: Be patient and prepare for anything they are all different. I have an Autistic uncle who doesn’t speak at all and can’t do the simplest things like sweep the floor but a few years ago he reprogrammed a calculator to be a remote for our TV…. I have heard of other genius acts by autistic folks too.

ninahenry's avatar

Focus on a proper schedule so that the child has a nice routine to stick to, make things fun and interesting and focus on interaction between the kids and sharing to help break those barriers. Group projects would be good.

Fyrius's avatar

Very patiently, and supportively.

I second what’s been said about reading up on it.

Be careful not to fall for stereotypes, because every autistic person is different and he almost certainly won’t have every single one of the classical characteristics. Get to know them with the common descriptions in mind.
Maybe he’s very introverted, maybe he isn’t.
Maybe he needs routine and hates surprises, maybe he doesn’t.
Maybe he doesn’t understands other kids’ feelings, or maybe he does.
Maybe he’s great at math, maybe he isn’t.
Maybe he’s easily fascinated, maybe he’s easily distracted, maybe he’s not more so than any other kid.
The lists can tell you what to look for, but not what you’ll find.

Anecdote from the other side: two years ago I had a lot of trouble with a university teacher who has an autistic son, and assumed that I – as another autism spectrum guy – would have the same knack for mathematics and the same need for specific schedules. For all his personal experience, I ended up having a lot more misunderstandings, frustrations and general trouble while working with him than with any of the other teachers.
Don’t do that.

jerv's avatar

It’s really hard to say since we are all different. I agree 150% with @Fyrius on this one, and will add that if you manage to frustrate or annoy him too much, he may take that as a lesson akin to finding out that putting your hand on a hot stove may cause painful injuries and never learn anything from you even if you change your methods and start doing everything right.

The only thing that can really be said with certainty is that the boy has a very different thought process than you do, has at least as hard a time of getting through to you as you do getting through to him (if not harder, depending on his linguistic ability), and is probably frustrated in general due to being surrounded by a bunch of “aliens”.

Regarding the thought process, imagine you are a small child playing in the kitchen. You cut your hand with a knife that has a red handle. Most kids would take that and turn it into a fear of knives, but an autistic kid may well draw a different association and grow up to be afraid of red things, or of kitchens.

My anecdote from the other side has to do with my two years of Freshman English in high school. The first time was with a by-the-book teacher and went badly enough to require taking the course again. The same class with a teacher that actually understood and cared that I was a little different took more of a hands-off approach and guided me more than taught me, and I had a 92 average.

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