Children with Autism
Autism is a developmental disorder that affects the normal functioning of the
brain. A person who has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) will have abnormal
development of social interaction and communication skills. This condition
usually affects a person in the first 3 years of his life and thereby makes
adjustment difficult. The symptoms that autism produces can be different for
different people and that is why it is referred to as a wide spectrum disorder.
When it comes to working with children with autism, there needs to be a
different approach adopted than the one when working with normal
children. In the article that follows we shall look at some of the key factors
that need to be considered when working with children with autism and why
they become important. Continue reading for a more detailed account of
Symptoms of Autism
To understand the gravity of this disorder and why severe or mild autism in
children needs to be handled in a different way, we have to first understand
what the autism symptoms in children are. Given below is a brief account of
the autism symptoms checklist.
They have very low social skills like they won't know how to make eye
contact, interact with people, pay attention when another person is
speaking to them.
Their actions are usually clumsy.
They have very little or no understanding of the difference between
the right and wrong comments.
They do not like physical contact with others. It needs to be a learned
Children with autism are not very empathetic to others' needs.
Depending on the severity of the disorder, their speech may be
affected. While some speak very little, often repeating phrases, others
who are severely affected will not speak at all.
They often follow and stick to a particular routine and might even
repeat a particular action over and over again. A change in this is not
really a well accepted factor.
These children will not learn all the skills like motor, language and
social at the same time. While one skill develops, the other will lag
Many autistic children have obsessions.
They might have physical tics.
Some centers of their brain may be better developed than others such
that they might be able to learn particular things faster than well
Children who suffer from autism cannot decipher the world in a normal way,
the way in which well developed humans can. Therefore depending on the
different levels of autism, whether it is mild autism or severe autism , their
everyday activities are affected. In the remainder of this article we shall be
talking about what it involves to be working with children with autism.
Working with Children with Autism in the Classroom
The symptoms of autism should've made it clear to you the very basis of why
the task of working with children with autism needs to be handled in a
different way. They cannot be taught like normally developed children as it
will not really help. Working with children with autism jobs need to be
handled in a particular way and that is exactly what the remainder of this
article deals with. Refer to the pointers given below for a clearer
understanding of the same:
In teaching children with autism, do not give autistic children long
drawn verbal instructions because they will not be able to grasp them.
Try a different approach like writing them down so that it does not
confuse the child.
Different activities for children with autism should be encouraged. So
also, it is important to encourage their talent and skills. Some might
be great at drawing, others at painting. Encouraging them helps them
gain confidence and can be turned into skills that'll help them in later
life as well.
Take help of visual aids like pictures and clips to explain concepts
and meanings to them. That's because many autistic children think in
terms of pictures and drawings and are therefore better able to grasp
the concepts better.
Identify shrill and loud sounds that disturb and shock these children
and find ways of either completely eliminating the sounds or finding
ways of slowly getting the child to deal with them. If this is not done, it
might strike an irrational fear of the object in them and encourage
There have to be specialized autism teaching strategies learned so
that one is better able to reach them - Talking to some autistic
students in a calm voice and whispers is known to help them become
Showing them tapes with the captions written at the bottom of the
screen will help them grasp the concept better. Something that mere
speech might not.
Explaining behavioral rules is more difficult when it comes to autistic
children. They need to be taught these over and over again and
taking it very slowly. Overwhelming them with too many demands and
things that work all their senses at once is not going to get you
Learn to accept all the 'quirky' behavior that the child does like
flapping or swinging about. Shouting at the child and asking them to
behave is only going to thwart their progress.
There are several working with children with autism careers and not simply
teachers that one looks at for this profession. It has to be understood that
autistic children are that way because their development is not normal.
Therefore understanding that they need to be handled in a different, more
mature way is the key. Only when one realizes this, will there ever be a
chance of teaching and handling the development and growth effectively.