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Tero Toivanen

Affordable Computer and Internet-based Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Prog... - 5 views

Tero Toivanen

12 Tips to Setting up an Autism Classroom « Principal Kendrick - 6 views

  • In a world that’s ever changing, routine and structure provide great comfort to a child on the autism spectrum.  Define routines clearly. 
  • Activities are successful when they’re broken into small steps.
  • Make sure children know what to do if they finish ahead of time.  Typically, children with autism do not use free time productively; therefore strive to have as little downtime between activities as possible.
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  • 2. Use visuals
  • Remember to keep explanations simple and short about each picture or concentration will wane.   Give written instructions instead of verbal whenever you can.  Highlight or underline any text for emphasis.
  • People with autism like order and detail.  They feel in control and secure when they know what to expect
  • Picture schedules are even more powerful because they help a student visualize the actions.
  • Make sure you have this schedule in a very visible place in your classroom and direct the students’ attention to it frequently, particularly a few minutes before you begin the next activity.
  • Written schedules are very effective for good readers.  These can also be typed up and placed on a student’s desk.
  • 4. Reduce distractions
  • Many people with autism find it difficult to filter out background noise and visual information.  Children with autism pay attention to detail.  Wall charts and posters can be very distracting. 
  • Try and seat children away from windows and doors. 
  • 5. Use concrete language
  • Always keep your language simple and concrete.   Get your point across in as few words as possible. 
  • Avoid using idioms.
  • Give very clear choices and try not to leave choices open ended.  You’re bound to get a better result by asking “Do you want to read or draw?” than by asking “What do you want to do now?”
  • 6. It’s not personal
  • Children with autism are not rude.  They simply don’t understand social rules or how they’re supposed to behave.
  • NEVER, ever, speak about a child on the autism spectrum as if they weren’t present
  • Despite the lack of reaction they sometimes present, hearing you speak about them in a negative way will crush their self esteem.
  • 7. Transitions
  • Children on the autism spectrum feel secure when things are constant.  Changing an activity provides a fear of the unknown.  This elevates stress which produces anxiety
  • Reduce the stress of transitions by giving ample warning
  • Using schedules helps with transitions too as students have time to “psyche themselves up” for the changes ahead.
  • People can be slow when they are learning a new skill until they become proficient
  • Encourage your students to ask each other for help and information
  • Making decisions is equally important and this begins by teaching students to make a choice.  Offer two choices. 
  • When giving a directive or asking a question, make sure you allow for extra processing time before offering guidance.  Self help skills are essential to learn
  • Never underestimate the power of consistency.
  • Avoid this temptation and make sure you allow ample time before you abandon an idea.  Remember that consistency is a key component of success.  If you’re teaching a student to control aggression, the same plan should be implemented in all settings, at school and at home.
  • 9. Rewards before consequences
  • We all love being rewarded and people with autism are no different.  Rewards and positive reinforcement are a wonderful way to increase desired behavior
  • If possible, let your students pick their own reward so they can anticipate receiving it.
  • There are many reward systems which include negative responses and typically, these do not work as well.
  • Focusing on negative aspects can often lead to poor results and a de-motivated student.  When used correctly, rewards are very powerful and irresistible
  • Every reward should be showered in praise.  Even though people on the spectrum might not respond typically when praised, they enjoy it just as much as you!
  • 10. Teach with lists
  • Teaching with lists sets clear expectations.  It defines a beginning, middle and an end.
  • People on the autism spectrum respond well to order and lists are no exception.  Almost anything can be taught in a list format.
  • While typical people often think in very abstract format, people on the spectrum have a very organized way of thought.  Finding ways to work within these parameters can escalate the learning curve.    
  • 11. Creative teaching
  • It helps to be creative when you’re teaching students with autism.  People on the spectrum think out of the box and if you do too, you will get great results.
    • Tero Toivanen
  • Often, people with autism have very specific interests.  Use these interests as motivators.
    • Tero Toivanen
      This is how I work! It's works!
  • Another great strategy to use is called “Teaching with questions”.  This method keeps students involved, focused and ensures understanding.
  • Another great way of teaching is by adding humor to your lessons.  We all respond to humor.
    • Tero Toivanen
      When you feel well, your students feel well also and learn better!
  • 12. Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • The final goal is for children to be happy and to function as independently as possible.
  • Don’t demand eye contact if a student has trouble processing visual and auditory information simultaneously.
    • Tero Toivanen
      It may even be painful for the student... There are research about this issue.
  • By correcting every action a person does, you’re sending a message that they’re not good enough the way they are.  When making a decision about what to correct, always ask yourself first, “Will correcting this action help this person lead a productive and happy life?”
Tero Toivanen

Facilitated Communication - Association for Science in Autism Treatment - 1 views

     "Research evidence, replicated across several hundred children with autism spectrum disorders, shows that the facilitators rather than the individuals with autism spectrum disorders control the communication and that FC does not improve language skills (Mostert, 2001). Therefore, FC is an inappropriate intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorders."
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