Sunday, April 14, 2013

Autism Understanding & Acceptance 2013 - Day 11

These posts seem to be getting later & later each day. Anyway, academic challenges! You've all stayed tuned, and I thank you.

Thomas has what I call "happy autism". He is a happy kid, and as I indicated in my previous post, is able to entertain himself all day & doesn't demand much. Once people spend a little time with him and get to know him, they really do adore him. Every teacher that has worked with him wants him in his/her classroom! And that is fantastic!

But (and there is always a but...) in the classrooms where Thomas is placed, there are other kids with autism and other diagnoses. And there are always other kids who require more attention due to behaviors, outbursts, etc. Those kids need attention, and they get it. I understand how and why it happens and certainly hold no ill will against the fellow students or teachers. Even the "typpies" (typical kids) who can converse & interact have the attention of the adults in the room. At the same time, Thomas rarely has "behaviors". He also requires hand-over-hand instruction to learn a new task, which means one-on-one attention. If he isn't getting this, and everyone's attention is understandably elsewhere, he goes off to a removed place and finds something to spin or flip, or just hangs out...not learning. No ill intent. A completely understandable situation.

So I'm going to lay it out here: he's happy & causes little disruption, he's easy to have in the classroom, everyone loves him and wants him. That's awesome! But he's also the kid that falls between the cracks because he doesn't have the behaviors that demand attention. And therefore, in group settings like this, he does not learn. Period.

The solution: one-on-one instruction. Next stop: ABA. Or diagnosis day. Stay tuned.See More

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