On the Road With Autism

My journey of discovery. I welcome your comments!


  • When My Worries Get Too Big by Dunn Buron is a great curriculum to use with children with Autism to help them handle their anxiety
  • Create a feeling chart (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) for each student
  • When I am at 1: I am feeling good, thinking about my favorite things and I am relaxed and ready to work
  • When I am at 2: I am still feeling okay and I know what's happening and I don’t really have any worries
  • When I am at 3: I might be getting a little nervous and something might be bothering me
  • When I am at 4: Something is bothering me and I am getting upset
  • When I am a 5: I am losing control
  • Now make a chart that shows what a student can do when they are at certain numbers (each student might come up with what they need)
  • To keep me at 1: Let me know I am doing really well. Help me feel proud
  • To keep me at 2: Give me clear expectations, make things manageable
  • When I get to 3: I am worried, try and find out what might help me (clarify, do something I really like, go to a quiet space)
  • When I get to 4: Deep breathing, thinking about happy things I can do later, take a walk, get something I need, get a drink
  • When I am at a five: It’s RED ALERT: I need to be in a safe place with no demands but calming activities. Give me time alone
  • When Our Children Learn:
  • 1) What behaviors are expected of them in different situations and how their behaviors affect others
  • 2) What behaviors are not appropriate and are considered unexpected and how they affect others in another way.
  • 3) Then they can make better choices if they are motivated by what others think and feel about them
  • Example: In a library I have to use a quiet voice, treat books nicely and sit in my chair. This makes my teacher happy and then I get to look at books I like J. Or I can scream in the library and throw my books on the floor. This will make my teacher very disappointed and she will make me leave and then I will NOT get to look at the books I want. L
  • Example: When my classmates and I do an art activity together and I start making loud noises and throw my paper and pencils on the floor, they look at me and then move away and don’t want to be with me. This makes me sad. BUT, when I do the art activity too and use a nice voice, they smile at me and stay at my table and be with me. This makes me Happy
  • So teachers can map out these examples for the student. This is called Social Behavior Mapping by Michelle Garcia Winner
  •  If students are motivated to please others by doing what is expected they will begin to change their inappropriate behaviors
  • Emotions can be controlled when they feel less stressed
  • Room is quiet/ Schedule is posted
  • 2) Assignments are short and you do some pre-teaching of parts
  • 3) They know when the activity begins and ends
  • 4) Directions are simple and understood
  • 5) Teach them to shift their attention
  • 6) Working on memory activities
  • 7) Teach flexibility (more ways to solve problems
  • 8) Teach them how to organize their papers, desks, assignments
  • 9) Teach them how to plan completing project
  • WHEN WE SUPPORT THEIR INDIVIDUAL LEARNING DIFFERENCES

 THEN WE GET THE BEST FROM THEM

 

 

Todays blog is about how we can help children with Autism decrease their anxieties so they can do their best learing.

When students are happy, calm and focused they do their best learning

So How Do We That????

  • Keep the learning environment calm & predictable (consistent)
  • Establish daily structure ( with schedules)
  • Make sure students understand your expectations of them (simple, clear, manageable)
  • Support their challenges (sensory, physical, cognitive, communication)
  • Make sure they have an effective way to express/communicate their needs, wants, feelings, dislikes
  • Keep your directions short and deliver with a calm voice
  • Plan lessons that are fun, meaningful & accommodating to their level
  • Make sure they are getting a good night’s rest & are eating well
  • Make sure their medical needs are addressed
  • Provide breaks during the day
  • Create a quiet, clam space for them to retreat to when overwhelmed
  • If We Want our Students to have Self-Control;
  • They have to be able to integrate sensory information, their emotions & their thinking
  • They have to have the ability to make sense of sensory information coming into them & then organize it and be able to act on it. So assess noises, lights, smells, movement in their environment
  • Loud noises (alarms, people talking, background noises)
  • Bright lights & all visual things in their learning space
  • Tactile information (people touching them)
  • Textures (clothing, art projects)
  • Smells (cooking, perfumes, incense)
  • Address Sensory Challenges:
  • 1) Lower or turn off lights/cover windows if needed
  • 2) Keep distractions to a minimum/don’t have people walking in and out all the time
  • 3) Less is better in the room
  • 4) Use calm voices
  • 5) Turn off background noises
  • 6) Provide good space between students
  • 7) Make sure perfumes & fragrances are kept light
  • 8) Keep room structured , support their seating,
  • They Have To Be Able to Integrate;
  • Their thoughts and actions
  • They have to be able to pay attention to more than one activity at time occurring In the environment
  • They have to be able to plan their actions when people request or ask them to do something
  • They have to remember (Hold directions in their minds, recall past information)
  • Process words they hear
  • So They Can Problem Solve
  • Teach estimation: Guessing how long it takes to do things
  • 2) Set up stations and have several activities going on at once and have them move every 20 minutes
  • 3) Play games that ask them to follow the leader
  • 4) Give them problems to solve (what do we need for an art project)
  • 5) Give a direction and ask them to repeat it back before doing
  • 6) Play memory games
  • They Have to Learn to Control Their Emotions By:
  • Really understanding how big or little their problem is
  • Really understanding other people’s perspectives (ideas, feelings) & how their actions affect others
  •    * and then find and use solutions to create positive outcomes*
  • Create lessons around big problems & little problems & how they can be solved
  • Pencil needing to be sharpened? (Big/little) to them
  • Someone crying? (big or little) to them
  • Hungry? (big or little)
  • Bathroom need? (Big or little)
  • Injury to self? (Big or Little problem)
  • Forgot their lunch? (Big or little)
  • Not understanding? (Big or little)
  • TEACH THEM To recognize FEELINGS L J next
  • TEACH THEM WHAT EACH OF THESE FEELINGs LOOKs LIKE
  • A) Moving slow, feeling sick, feeling sad, being bored
  • B) Happy, calm, focused
  • C) Frustrated, overwhelmed, silly, wiggly, excited, worried, anxious,
  •  D) surprised
  •    E) Out of control anger and aggression
  • Then (Define them, draw them, take pictures of them, label them)
  • IDENTIFY Triggers to these Challenging Feelings next
  • What causes them to be frustrated, overwhelmed, silly, wiggly, excited, worried, anxious, surprised
  • Angry and aggressive
  • THEN IDENTIFY WHAT ACTIONS CAN HELP CALM THEM
  • Have the child make a list of what makes him/her anxious, worried, angry, fearful
  • Too much noise
  • Not understanding what I am supposed to do
  • Smells, being touched
  • Seizures, hunger, tired
  • Not knowing what is next
  • Being too close to someone
  • Triggers are Different for everyone
  • Then Make a Plan for What to do when each occurs
  • When there is too much noise: I can ask to leave & take a break
  • When I am tired I can let my teacher know & maybe I can have a shorter activity and then rest
  • When I am hungry I could have a snack
  • When I am anxious I could go outside for a walk
  • When I am frustrated I could ask for HELP
  • Calming Activities May Be Different for each Child
  • A break
  • A quiet place
  • Deep breathing
  • Exercise
  • Thinking positive thoughts
  • Asking for help with an assignment/activity
  • Have a snack or a drink