26 03, 2014

Coping with Halts in Production

A student or individual with autism who refuses to do a task is not a brat. Instead, he or she is telling us that something is not right and WE need to fix it.  According to Dr. Aspy and Dr. Grossman, it is wise to ask three questions BEFORE assigning a task to a student with autism: 1. Are you asking for performance of a skill that is too hard? 2. Are you asking for performance of a skill that has not been taught? 3. Are you asking for a task to be completed without the necessary supports? Before you answer these with a simple “No, I am not,” consider that every skill is made up of sub- skills and prerequisite skills.  For example, the simple task of writing a sentence requires a person to come up with an idea, decide whether it is ‘good,’ remember it while manipulating a

20 03, 2014

When Production Comes to a Halt

What just happened? Where did that sweet child go? Just as you feel as though you and the child are in a good, productive groove...KABOOM! In a flash there are tears, frustration and what seems to be an explosion of outright defiance. Been there? Sometimes our students or children with autism do a sudden about face and jolt us with their disobedience. Perhaps tasks or activities that had previously been accomplished with minimal support now seem to produce volcanic eruptions of emotions. What do we do? How should we respond? Our authoritative gut instinct may tell us to get tough and stand our ground by demanding the tears stop and the work gets done. Too often we jump to conclusions: "He just doesn't want to do it! "He is just being stubborn! He wants out of the work! He is just pushing my buttons!"  For the record, that thinking is OUR