Perhaps that is how some students with autism see the tasks ahead of them at school.
The school day becomes a litany of tasks that are imposed on me. This happens in addition to the fact that I am trying really hard to stay calm after the roles of each member of the cooperative group I am in were changed. I am trying to ignore the sounds of the kids scraping their chairs on the floor and I feel like there is no way that I am smart enough to do the work assigned. When will this end???
Perfect time for a checklist. Sounds crazy but writing the tasks that need to be accomplished and clearly marking small breaks between each one or every few jobs may be a miracle cure for those students who refuse to start.
Write down in a list what needs to get done before recess. Keep the tasks small and manageable. Break up a larger task into small steps if necessary. After one or two steps incorporate a short break such as 2 minutes of ipod tunes, a walk to the water fountain, 2 minutes of lego building etc…). Be sure to show the breaks on the checklist! Teach me to check off each step as I do it so that I can feel that I am making progress.
Students with autism NEED to see what lies ahead and what’s in it for them. Come to think of it, how many of us don’t feel a weight lift as we cross out completed tasks on our ‘to do’ lists?
And a little coffee break in between tasks may just keep us going!
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