I teach 2nd grade. One of my students is diagnosed with autism....the last 4-5 weeks have been tough. Behaviors are escalating and out of control. I have been told that this could be due to the time change...is this true and how long does it take to adjust? He has really good days, but the bad days are really not good......help:
i am not a teacher but i would be happy to share some tricks that might help. firstly, allow him to pick his seat. his whole day could be thrown off just by sitting in a seat that stresses him out. give him a daily schedule and (if possible) give him advanced notice if things change. implement a token system. for example, give him 3 token or passes to use that allow him to get up and maybe go for a walk with an aide if he feels overwhelmed. as he uses his token have him check them off on a daily log. you could also verbally remind him "ok, Johnny, you have used 2 of your tokens/passes already for today.....remember you have one more to use." keep a communication log with his parents. i don't know his functioning level but maybe if his parents see that he is having a problem during the day then they could help him overcome it by talking about it at home. assign him a buddy. sometimes children are much more receptive with following thru with a task if he is working with another child.
great suggestions from prior post. another suggestion is to give him a preview of the schedule for the day on a xeroxed form that you or his aide will write out with him, so he will be able to predict what to expect from the day. this can reduce anxiety. have his aide check off each item as it is accomplished with him, even have a space where he can write or draw (smiley faces) how he felt about a particular activity. the more predictability, the better.
I can only reiterate the previous. Structure is very important. Structure and predictability. The class environment is difficult for AS kids in general, so any accomodations within reason are most welcome.
I am a teacher too and have had the pleasure to work with many students with autism over the years. I have to agree that all of the suggestions listed are all one's I've used and had success with in the past. Is this child in your classroom full-time or does he also participate in a pull-out autism program? Do his case managers (sp. educ teachers) have any accommodations already put in place for him?
One thing I found helped when I knew there was going to be a change (new seating arrangement, new classroom decorations/bulletin boards, change in schedule, etc) was to put a big ? sign on the classroom door. My students all understood that this meant that something was going to be different about the day. This helped provide a "warning" for my students with autism and allowed them to have some control of trying to figure out what the difference was.
I would love to offer any support or ideas if you need them. Sometimes just trying to brainstorm is the best way to the perfect solution. I wish you the best of luck, I know that it isn't always easy.