A day in the life


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A day in the life

  1. 1. A Day in the Life… Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Classroom March 19, 2010 Staci Law Resource Teacher at North Elementary
  2. 2. Characteristics That Will Impact Performance in the Classroom  Cognition  Executive Functioning- organization & planning  Maturity  Problem Solving  Rote Memory  Generalization  Theory of Mind Deficits- other’s perspectives  Special Interests
  3. 3. Language and Social  Lack of understanding non-verbal cues  Difficulty using language to initiate or maintain a conversation  A tendency to interpret words or phrases concretely  Difficulty considering someone else’s perspective  Failure to understand “hidden curriculum” rules  Lack of awareness of what you say to a person in a conversation will impact how that person interacts with you in the future
  4. 4. Sensory Things to Consider  Tactile (touch)  Vestibular (balance)  Proprioceptive (body awareness)  Visual (sight)  Auditory (hearing)  Gustatory (taste)  Olfactory (smell)
  5. 5. Sensory Creating an Optimal Atmosphere   Lighting Experiment with different types of lighting; wear a hat or sunglasses; blinds; consider reflection of light (move seat); use colored overlays to eliminate glare; table lamps rather than florescent   Sound Move away from possible sound source; wear headphones or earplugs; tennis balls on bottoms of chairs; change sound if possible; prepare the student for the sound (bells, alarms, etc); listen to soft music   Smell Seat near open door or window; use unscented cleaning materials; limit amount of perfume or personal products   Temperature Extra sweatshirt; seated away or near air conditioner and/or window; cold bottled water at desk
  6. 6. Voice Volume Lighting
  7. 7. Motor  Fine Motor-handwriting, art class, dressing for PE  Gross Motor-general appearance, clumsy, PE, last to be picked for sports teams  Visual Motor-copying assignments from boards, sensing where chair is, etc
  8. 8. Behavior Why do students experience a tantrum, rage, or meltdown?   Failure to understand rules/routines   Desire for friendships with few skills to fulfill this wish   Disruption from pursuing special interests   Stress relating to coping with everyday challenges   Overwhelming sensory input   Inability to protect oneself from teasing/bullying
  9. 9. The Role of the Teacher 9 Ways to Support Students with Autism While Promoting Inclusive Schooling   Recognize differences   See the individual student not the student’s label   Consider the gifts and strengths the student brings into the classroom   Preserve student dignity   Look for complexity in learners (How does the student learn?, What does the student value?, How can I help the student find success?, What can I learn from the student?)   Serve as an advocate and teach advocacy   Act as teacher and learner   Collaborate with general education teachers, special education teachers, parents and administrators
  10. 10. The Role of the Teacher   Listen “Clearly, listening to students is not simply a matter of giving attention and providing opportunity; educators and others who support individuals with Autism must respond to the voices of these individuals even when they present information or ideas that challenge authority or criticize institutional structures.” Kluth, Paula You’re Going to Love This Kid! 2003
  11. 11. Brain Bicycle Everyone has a 2 speed brain. My brain is like a 1 speed bike. It is really smart. It is hard for me to look at the world in a different way (this requires a 2 speed brain). I only see things at 1 speed, very fast. When I am asked to look at the world in a different way, it’s like my whole mind flips upside down. I can switch speeds, but it hurts my mind, it’s weird, and it’s really hard (that’s called lateral thinking). You can help my 1 speed brain, but if you push it too hard it becomes damaged.
  12. 12. Nervous Chart Things are too easy Tell the teacher it is not at my level Hide or throw away the paper Hide my feelings- “Try to become invisible” Make up excuses (pass, I need more time to think) Don’t want to share *considers likes and dislikes private information; bullies might make fun of my choices Write on my paper “I refuse”, “I can’t do this problem” Just sit there Don’t do anything Stare at my paper Move my fingers in a nervous way Drop my pencils Make things move, play with things I just flat out don’t want to do it *Sometimes it is too hard, too much writing Just say NO! Make an excuse (The word WHY makes it harder.) Walk around to avoid work, sometimes it helps me think
  13. 13. Nervous Chart Solution At school we have state standard and teacher standards. State standards are academic standards that Indiana has adopted to measure Ed’s progress at each grade level. Teacher standards are different ways my teachers measure Ed’s progress in 4th grade. Sometimes Ed’s teachers tell him to do things that Ed does not want to do. It might be too hard or Ed might have to write too much. Sometimes Ed’s teachers want him to show his likes and dislikes. When Ed refused to do his work, Ed’s teachers cannot measure his progress in 4th grade. When Ed’s teachers tell him to do something Ed will have two choices. 1. Ed will do the work at the assigned time. 2. Ed will do it at recess If Ed chooses not to do his work, Ed will lose his entire recess. Every teacher has a signal card. Too easy-challenge folder Too hard-teacher will help Private thoughts-does not need to share with group
  14. 14. Creating a Comfortable Classroom Physical Structure- How the classroom is set up and organized, and where materials and furniture are placed Clear physical and visual boundaries Minimized visual and auditory distractions Develop basic teaching areas
  15. 15. Ways to structure the environment…   Preferential Seating   Have a work area facing the wall   Provide a place for student’s belongings   Provide a place for finished work   Use an assignment notebook   Area marked to show where student’s work area is   Room dividers or study carrel to reduce distractions   Class schedule posted for easy and ready access   Shortest route to bathroom marked on school map   Safe place to go when feeling stressed and overwhelmed
  16. 16. Structured Environment
  17. 17. Structured Environment
  18. 18. Learning Environments
  19. 19. Learning Environments
  20. 20. Individualized Work Structured Work Task Students need to know: 1.  What work? 2.  How much work? 3.  When is it finished? 4.  What happens next? Schedules can give that information and will help with transitioning from one activity to another.
  21. 21. Transitions   Many children with ASD   Students with ASD can have difficulty with handle transitions better transitions. when they are   They may have difficulty forewarned of the transitioning from one changes. task or activity to another.   They may need to be Some students may forewarned when it is display signs of time to change from one “perseveration”, where activity to another or they are unable to stop a when there is going to be task or activity until they change in daily schedule. are “finished”.
  22. 22. Transition Tools
  23. 23. Modifying and Adapting Curriculum Types of Modifications   Size   Time   Input   Output   Difficulty   Degree of Participation   Level of Support   Alternate Goals   Substitute Curriculum Pratt, Cathy Understanding and Educating Students Across the Autism Spectrum Indiana Resource Center for Autism
  24. 24. Instructional Approaches   Use areas of interest   Vary tasks and activities   How is unstructured time organized? (recess, free time, transitions)   Rehearse work in advance   Establish rules, limits, and boundaries   Address all learning styles   Delivery of instruction (tone of voice, body language, physical contact, proximity to student)   All visual supports are readily accessible   Visual schedules Pratt, Cathy Understanding and Educating Students Across the Autism Spectrum Indiana Resource Center for Autism
  25. 25. Instructional Approaches Continued   Physical activity between tasks   Provide safe area in classroom and resource area   Scheduled breaks   Consistent routines   Simplify response requirements   Allow time to process information   Vary pace of instruction   Positive interaction should outweigh negative interaction 4:1   Experience success daily Pratt, Cathy Understanding and Educating Students Across the Autism Spectrum Indiana Resource Center for Autism
  26. 26. Choice-Making  Limit the amount of choices (2-3)  Choice among different activities  Choice of people to be included  Choice of location  Choice of when an activity occurs  Choice among materials Always keep in mind, “What is your objective of the lesson?”
  27. 27. Academic Tips Reading Writing   Weekly previews   Color coded sentence strips   Pre-reading and pre-teaching   Provide word bank vocabulary (visual and   Individualized word box movement)   Color coded paragraphs   Reading the questions first to   Graphic organizers set the purpose for reading   Color coded editing   Use highlighters; highlighting (capitalization-green, end procedures marks-red)   STARS strategy   Writing to a prompt (“Fake   Graphic organizers stories”)   Who?, What?, When?, Where?   Use assistive technology visuals (AlphaSmarts, PixWriter,   Reading A-Z Premier, PaperPort, etc)
  28. 28. Academic Support through Social Skills Curriculum   Social Stories   Cartooning   Visual Schedules   Random Acts of Kindness   “We Did It!”-personal achievement board   Scavenger Hunts   Classroom Agendas/Schedules/Procedures   School-wide procedures   Reward system using real money   Social Behavior Mapping   Sequencing steps or procedures (Listening Procedures)   School-wide lifeskill and life goal philosophy (Treat People Right, Do the Right Thing)   Monthly student led lifeskill convocations and student achievement awards
  29. 29. Resources Kluth, Paula “You’re Going to Love This Kid!” 2003 Diefendorf, Erin & Lofland, Kristie Austim Consultants Hamilton-Boone- Madison Special Services Cooperative Pratt, Cathy Understanding and Educating Students Across the Autism Spectrum Indiana Resource Center for Autism
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