Yesterday, we looked at tips for teachers in the article, Teacher’s quick guide to autism but it is always a good idea for parents to take review some of the things parents can do to help teachers understand the specific autistic child. The relationship between parent and teacher is of vital importance so:
- Share information about your child (see * below)
• Visit the school yourself to meet the teacher and other staff.
• Arrange for your child to meet the teacher and spend some time in the classroom, dining area etc
• See if the teacher can introduce you to some of the other families before school starts so that your child can get to know some of the other children who will be in his class.
• Adjust your child’s bedtime/waking, washing, breakfast routine and even lunchtime towards the school schedule.
• Let him take a favorite object to school with him – making it age appropriate if possible (or pocket sized if not) as that will minimize the chances of bullying.
* • Every child is different so even if the teaching staff have worked with such children before it will help if you make an information sheet that include any or all of the following:
o His strengths – attention to detail, skills/interests/obsessions that can be built on.
o His level of speech/verbal skills
o Level of understanding
o How he learns best – include points such as whether he is a visual thinker or learns better through touching and feeling things, or whether he simply needs time to assimilate information
o What helps him learn – quiet place, regular breaks, individual attention
o What he finds challenging – which might be noise, lights physical touch, finding other rooms and even the toilets etc
o Any warning signs that would indicate when he is getting more stressed, overloaded, frustrated, etc
o What the teacher can do to make learning easier – extra support at breaktimes, a school buddy, sitting him at the front to minimize distractions etc
o Any special requirements – like a gluten free diet or aids such as tinted lenses
2. Keep a daily journal that can be shared between home and school.
3. Talk through problems and concerns as soon as they arise so that things don’t fester.
This can be:
- used by all staff for reference
- updated as things change
- helpful for parent-teacher meetings
If you would like a free book with more information see www.autismdecoded.com