Saturday April 2nd is Autism Awareness and a wonderful opportunity to raise understanding of ASD.
As it is on a Saturday, I would love you to start planning now what you can do Friday April 1st in your school, preschool.
That is 2 weeks away.
Hope these 9 Key Tips to Promote Understanding in the Classroom might give you some ideas
9 Key Strategies to Promote Understanding in the Classroom
1. You must first have permission from parents to discuss the child’s ASD in the classroom.
- Conduct the ‘My Life in a Box’ activity. This is a fantastic activity for the whole school. ‘My Life in a Box’ is where for News each child brings in a box with objects that tell us about themselves e.g. favourite book, places they have been on holidays, favourite food, favourite colour, sport, pets, etc. If the child has ASD or has a sibling with ASD they can include a book about ASD to read to the class. It is VERY important they talk about all the other interests they have first and then say “I have Autism/Aspergers”, or “My brother, sister, cousin, etc has Autism/Aspergers.” Encourage ALL students to bring in epi-pens, asthma puffers, cultural objects or family traditions so everyone has something ‘different’.
- Explain ASD at the right level for the class. (I highly recommend All Cats Have Aspergers – early years to secondary love this book). This book is available below
- Give real life explanations about the sensory issues that students experience such as touch, movement, smell, etc. “When Johnny walks out the door at lunchtime he finds it hard when people touch him as he moves. When he is bumped into accidentally he may push you away.”
- Read stories to the class and explain the issues discussed in the book and relate them to what the students see in the student with ASD. (I highly recommend Can I Tell You About…. Aspergers / Autism / ADHD – a great series of books). These books are available below
- Explain how and why the child may play differently to other children. Give children strategies to encourage someone with ASD to play with them.
- Explain how children with ASD need sensory tools in the classroom.
- Explain how to be a friend to someone with ASD.
TO DOWNLOAD EASY TO PRINT VERSION – Tip Sheet Strategies to Promote Understanding
“My son (8yrs at the time) wrote a book titled ‘My Asperger’s’. He read it to the class. The school library published it, and it is still on the shelf today. An amazing and supportive school community.” Charmaine
For more information download my free Tip Sheet ‘Promote Understanding in the Classroom’ below
FANTASTIC RESOURCES TO HELP
Great Letter to Families Sharing a Diagnosis
Great Video Example of Sharing Diagnosis – I have permission to share this video with you were a family and child share with their class.
Aspergers- kal shares with his class a little bit about having Aspergers
Help Children Embrace Difference
With better understanding about difference, children learn to Embrace Difference to Make a Difference. Make time to share a book with your class, family, and community about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Books are a fantastic way to communicate the complex nature of ASD and help EVERYONE understand.
These books provide a valuable resource for:
- Teachers wishing to convey to their students the behavioural characteristics of children with ASD.
- Families to share with child with ASD, siblings, cousins and extended family.
- Preschools and schools wanting to discuss diversity and explain ASD.
- Increasing tolerance and understanding of children who think and behave different to their peers.
- Supporting children with ASD, to understand ASD and that it is okay to be different.