No need for expertise in autism theory, just a few simple and yet critical principles will help you and your student with autism to blossom! Cheesy, I know…but true!
Incorporate the student’s interests within the classroom environment and within the curriculum. I KNOW you have heard this before, but I mean that you need to GENUINELY think about how you could make this kid feel like what he cares about, you do too! Sticking a couple of pictures up of his favourite chef or ocean creature is NOT using his interests. If you are serious about incorporating interests and passions then give the student a variety of ways to express that knowledge: in writing, video, presentations, building models etc. Be sure to have him or her share this passion with classmates and build in the skills of answering questions, asking questions and communicating clearly in words or non- verbal means.
Paula Kluth’s book, Just Give Him the Whale is an absolutely awesome resource for taking the unique passions of kids with autism and turning them into highly effective classroom tools! I HIGHLY recommend it for all teachers!
Stay tuned for more “cannot live without, non negotiable, must do’s” for students with autism!
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