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Working with ASD at school

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Old 02-27-2008, 09:00 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 6
autismsso HB User
Working with ASD at school

Today was the first day I had to restrain the 5year old ASD child I work with. It broke my heart but I had to remove him after he attacked the smaller sister of a classmate. I have never had to touch a child before. I know I probably did the right thing but his obsession with little children just won't budge. Has anyone had any luck with distracting a ASD child enough to ignore what he hates and not hurt other children? Any help would be great

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Old 02-28-2008, 11:51 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 536
datgrlstef HB User
Re: Working with ASD at school

He hates the child? Or he's fascinated with them? There's a difference, I'm sure.

I'm a mother of a 4 yr old who is obsessed with babies. SO much so that last year, I absolutely dreaded being in the same room with anyone who had one. He seemed to instinctively know a baby was around, and immediately hone in on the stroller. He would try to touch, hold, squeeze, etc.. moms were generally pretty nice about it because they also had children in the same special needs school. But still. It was a nightmare for me! I would be on him reminding him not to touch, or that he had to ask permission to touch, etc.. Finally, I decided to make him a "social story" book on babies. I took a bunch of magazines and cut out pictures of babies in all various stages - sleeping, crying, with their mommies, eating, etc. I put it together in a book that said things like "babies sleep", "babies love gentle hugs and kisses", etc. He could read this book whenever he wanted, and get excited over it.. and yet not physically be with one in order to learn about them. He still loves babies, but is not quite so preoccupied with them anymore, THANK GOODNESS!

I don't know if anything similar would work for the child in your class, but you have to make him realize- or have his parents make him realize- that other children (people) need space. We do not touch other people w/out their permission, etc.. You need to keep impressing this upon him (IMO) until he "gets it". I would definitely get the parents on board for this!

Good luck!

*I just wanted to add something. Are you sure it was an "attack"? Did the child look mad? Slap the kid, etc in a vicious way? My son gets a very odd look on his face when he's being affectionate. He is not affectionate in a typical way, a lot of the time. And he puts his hands on people's throats... it looks menacing to people who don't understand, but he's actually "hugging" their throats. Sounds crazy, but I know now that it's not a mean gesture. Some gestures are much more obvious, though. LOL

Last edited by datgrlstef; 02-28-2008 at 11:53 AM. Reason: adding something

Old 03-01-2008, 04:25 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 6
autismsso HB User
Re: Working with ASD at school

My boy wanted to hurt the little girl and did swing is closed fist and hit her. I may have to try and desensitize him or at least give him a way of coping with little girls. Thanks for the comment.

Old 03-01-2008, 07:23 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 470
Picali HB User
Re: Working with ASD at school

Part of the problem is that the majority of schools simply do not suit autistic children. The noise, the numbers of people, the different members of staff, changes in routine, lighting, floor coverings, colours on the walls, all of those things can be torture for a child with autism. Children in wheelchairs aren't expected to cope with stairs, yet our autistic kids are put in horribly stressful environments and expected to deal with it. I'm sure you're very good at your job, but it worries me when teaching staff post for advice on the internet - where's your specialist support network, your focused training, the strategies that are put in place before these children start in school in order to avoid these situations arising? I don't mean that as a criticism to you in any way, but toward a system that refuses to acknowledge the difficulties these children face and make adjustments for them. If this little lad has a problem with girls then the easiest thing to do is put him in an all boys school. If he has a problem with children in general then the best way to deal with that is one to one tuition with closely monitored, structured play with another child. The problem is the system refuses to accept the difficulties these children have and actually give them what they need in order to cope, which would generally be a much quieter, calmer, softer environment with highly trained, specialised staff and individually tailored educational programmes. Your school should have clear strategies in place for this little lad, not be leaving you to flounder whilst you try to figure out what to do. Again, I mean this as no disrespect to you as an individual.

Old 03-10-2008, 10:14 AM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Norfolk England
Posts: 22
mydogsandme HB User
Re: Working with ASD at school

Picali-Iknow what you mean,there are so many things going on in schools to set a child off. Things can go wrong either because the child spends too much time "seperate" from the other children,with their 1 to 1-which I am- or are pushed too quickly into group activities which they can't cope with as teachers are desperate to show that they are participating fully in the class.

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