Autism Spectrum Disorder People with autism have trouble with organizational skills, regardless of their intelligence and/or age. Even a “straight A” student with autism who has a photographic memory can be incapable of remembering to bring a pencil to class or of remembering a deadline for an assignment. In such cases, aid should be provided in the least restrictive way possible.
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder have problems with abstract and conceptual thinking. Some may eventually acquire abstract skills, but others never will. When abstract concepts must be used, use visual cues, such as drawings or written words, to augment the abstract idea. Be as concrete as possible in all your interactions with these students.
An increase in unusual or difficult behaviors probably indicates an increase in stress. Sometimes stress is caused by feeling a loss of control. Many times the stress will only be alleviated when the student physically removes himself from the stressful event or situation. If this occurs, a program should be set up to assist the student in re-entering
Do not take misbehavior personally. The high-functioning person with autism is not a manipulative, scheming person who is trying to make life difficult. They are seldom, if ever, capable of being manipulative. Usually misbehavior is the result of efforts to survive experiences which may be confusing, disorienting, or frightening.
- Most high-functioning people with Autism Spectrum Disorder use and interpret speech literally. Until you know the capabilities of the individual, you should avoid:
- idioms (e.g., save your breath, jump the gun, second thoughts);
- double meanings (most jokes have double meanings);
- Remember that facial expressions and other social cues may not work. Most individuals with autism have difficulty reading facial expressions and interpreting “body language.”
- If the student does not seem to be learning a task, break it down into smaller steps or present the task in several ways (e.g., visually, verbally, physically).
- Avoid verbal overload. Autism Spectrum DisorderBe clear. Use shorter sentences if you perceive that the student is not fully understanding you. Although he probably has no hearing problem and may be paying attention, he may have difficulty understanding your main point and identifying important information.
- Prepare the student for all environmental and/or changes in routine, such as assembly, substitute teacher, and rescheduling. Use a written or visual schedule to prepare him for change.
- Autism Spectrum Disorder Behavior management works, but if incorrectly used, it can encourage robot-like behavior, provide only a short term behavior change, or result in some form of aggression. Use positive and chronologically