Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Support for teachers of autistic children

Even though I declared it "Required Reading," maybe you're not up for a 500+ page graphic novel about a Japanese family's experience when their first child is diagnosed with autism. Maybe you just need some helpful strategies for the child who is in your classroom. Things you can do tomorrow.

In my experience, the best resources are the people who know the child well. Our school is lucky. We have experienced paraprofessionals who work with our special needs kids, with our special education teachers, and with regular education teachers throughout the elementary school career of the children. They are invaluable.

I asked our special ed teachers what professional books they would recommend for teachers of autistic children. Rather than books, they recommended Autism.com. The site is searchable -- try "teachers" or "teacher resources" for starters.

For further anecdotal reading, I would recommend Rules by Cynthia Lord, and Temple Grandin's work. (I found Temple Grandin by reading Oliver Sacks' fascinating books.)

Are there any other great (practical) resources you would recommend?

4 comments:

  1. One of my favorite radio programs that download and listen to regularly had an episode a couple months ago about autism. I'd recommend this to anyone who works with autistic kids:

    http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/beingautistic/index.shtml

    I haven't been able to find a library copy of your graphic novel rec yet.

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  2. One of the most useful books I've read is _a Parents Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism_, and I would recommend it to teachers because these are the kids who are so often misunderstood and disregarded. Everyone recognizes that a child who sits in the corner rocking is likely autistic, but a child who can speak and is obviously highly intelligent may have a much harder time having his disability recognized and understood.

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  3. I will have to look at this site. I haven't had much experience with these children, but feel like it's good information to have. Thanks for sharing the resource.

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  4. I was given a wonderful resource by a parent of child in my classroom called YOu're Going TO LOve This Kid: Teaching Students with autism in the inclusive classroom by Paula Kluth.

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