Teaching children with autism in the classroom can be an incredibly rewarding experience. However, it also comes with its unique set of challenges, especially if you don’t have all the necessary resources and knowledge at your disposal.
Fortunately, advancements in the field have made it easier to support children with autism in educational settings. Here are some essential strategies and tools to help ASD teachers, parents, and school staff provide optimal support in the classroom:
Tip #1: Review and Understand IEPs and 504 Plans
Start by thoroughly reviewing the class list for any student with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan. These documents are legally binding, and adherence is required by law. If any accommodations within the plans are unclear or unable to be implemented, notify school administration and parents. Being familiar with these documents helps ensure that every child’s unique needs are met.
Tip #2: Support Through Language
It’s crucial to remember that autistic students in a general education classroom are general education students first, regardless of their support. If an autistic student has special education support staff, work with them as a team. The student should be “our” student, not “your” or “my” student. This language conveys a powerful message, especially when used in front of an autistic student and their peers.
Tip #3: Build a Support Network
For ASD teachers to better understand their autistic students, they should seek out people who know them well, including family members and prior teaching staff, as early in the school year as possible. Completing a “About Me” profile worksheet with parents is a good start. Additionally, do not hesitate to notify school administrators and parents immediately if an issue arises with an autistic student.
Tip #4: Utilize Technology and Innovative Resources
Technology has opened up new avenues for supporting students with autism in the classroom. Tools like interactive educational apps, communication devices, and virtual reality programs can help tailor the learning experience to the unique needs of each student.
Tip #5: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy in the Classroom
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is a highly effective approach for teaching autism students. It involves systematic and evidence-based techniques to address behavioral and developmental challenges. Consider the option of school-based ABA therapy to provide the tailored support of ABA therapy in school settings.
By embracing these strategies and tools, you can create an inclusive and supportive classroom for students with autism, helping them thrive and reach their full potential–and we are here to help you on your journey to doing so!
At Step Forward our goal is to help children have a brighter future with ABA therapy in school settings. We offer school-based ABA therapy to support students, staff, and ASD teachers, ensuring that students with autism have access to the support and interventions they need to succeed.
Our services extend to states like Florida and New Mexico, where our expert team collaborates with you to provide resources to children with autism in the classroom. Contact us today to learn more about our resources for teaching autism students with school-based ABA therapy support in your corner!