About Me

A couple of years ago, I found my autistic child locked in a small cold cement cell at his school. The cell had no windows, no furniture, and was slate gray with low lighting. The cell was also sound proofed so parents and teachers outside wouldn’t hear him crying. I am writing this blog as a campaign to change the way these children are perceived and treated in our society.

Friday, December 30, 2011

#30 101 Ways a Teacher Could Help a Child with Autism

Category: General guidelines when dealing with autistic children

Suggestion #30:  Many autistic children like facts and think very logically.  Present to them the rules you would like them to follow accompanied with the facts on why it is important to follow those rules.
This always works wonders with my son.  If he knows that something is a rule, he will want to follow it.  It is up to us to clearly communicate what the rules are.  Make them simple, easy to understand, and state them clearly without using hyperbole or exaggeration.

Also, I would recommend that they know what to do when they see someone else break a rule – that they come find an adult when one of the rules is not followed.  Their passion for the rules can be high, and if they see someone else break a rule, they may feel obliged to enforce it.  Give them an avenue to do so (coming to find the adult).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

#29 101 Ways a Teacher Could Help a Child with Autism

Category:  General guidelines when dealing with autistic children

Suggestion #29:  Avoid power struggles.

This advice is a lot easier to say than it is to do.  But, there are ways to avoid power struggles with a child.  By finding ways to offer them a choice between activities and other methods, you can avoid putting yourself and them in a head to head contest of wills. 

This is just as much for your benefit as it is for theirs as, if you start trying to insist on a certain path with an autistic child, you may find that their determination can far outpace your own.  Avoiding the confrontational situations from the start is preferential as you don’t want them to start to think that you will back down.  You also don’t want to have to punish them and hold them down for screaming and thrashing because of something completely avoidable, like you wanted them to have the snack after the play ground break instead of the other way around.  If you aren’t careful and are too rigid, you might end up with those types of incidents.

I am going to come back to this blog and add some links on additional methods to avoid power struggles.  In the meantime, please offer your thoughts in the comment section below.