13 11, 2014

Perspective is Everything – Guest Blog

When we were new to Autism, it was all very strange and frightening. What was going to happen now? Was my child going to have a ‘life’ worth living? Would he ever have friends? When would the meltdowns ever end? What IS a ‘meltdown’? Could the ever live an ‘independent’ life?....... The questions were endless! But so was my grief and sorrow! Grief for the child I had ‘lost’, sorrow for the life they would never get to live! Ohhhh - and what the hell IS Autism anyway? Can they grow out of it? Will it go away? On and on the questions went! And, for every answer I found, a dozen new questions popped up! Then, at some point, I had a moment of clarity! I was thinking about Autism from MY point of view – NOT that of my child! I was worrying about the aspirations I had

8 11, 2014

Be Wary of Students with Autism who are Not Disruptive

Quiet, well behaved kids with autism scare me. Don’t get me wrong – I am not overly crazy about loud, uncooperative or aggressive behaviour either. But, it does get demand attention and resources. On the other hand, the learning needs of a student with autism who sits silently and gazes in the direction of the teacher may fly under the radar. Is the child engaged in what is being taught? Or is he completely absorbed in his own imagination. While the teacher discusses the states of matter, a child may be basking in his passion for weather systems. How do we know what is being learned? Compliance is not the end goal - learning and growth are. Kids with autism can have some pretty mixed up concepts. Literal and rigid thinking may thwart student learning. Difficulties with attention, focus and the ability to use context to determine what is relevant information,