In 2021, one out of every forty-four children received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Hopefully, each of those children will one day gain access to a dedicated, knowledgeable team of therapeutic professionals!
It takes a village to raise a child. Do you think you might thrive as a resident of one of the most special villages in the world?
If you’re a problem solver with patience to spare, you might consider working with autistic children. It is a creative and rewarding career with plenty of room for growth. You can become one of the compassionate humans responsible for meeting an autistic child’s needs.
We’ve created this brief guide to answer your questions about working with autism. Keep reading to brush up on autism learning styles so you can help autistic children learn!
A Sensory Journey
One of the hallmarks of autism is sensitivity to sensory experiences. In some cases, autistic children might be sensory-seeking, which means they crave stimulation. In others, children are sensory averse and need accommodations to focus.
When teaching autistic children, fidget toys and sensory materials are tools of the job! Assistive technology devices like sensory seat cushions can help students to focus.
A New Language
Another frequent symptom of autism spectrum disorders is difficulty with communication. While some students might be fully verbal, others might be completely non-verbal. Many children fall somewhere in between the two extremes.
Many educators rely on assistive technology devices to facilitate communication with their students. AAC devices, or augmentative and alternative communication devices, run the gamut. They range from high-tech speech tablets to simple paper communication boards.
As a teacher of autistic children, you will need to find new, creative ways to assess what your students understand. Often, this means facilitating individualized education plans, or IEPs.
A Social Strategy
Additionally, many autistic children struggle with social skills, often related to their communication challenges. Some children struggle with concepts like subtext. Others might rely on “scripted” speech to express themselves.
As a result, a major component of working with autistic children is teaching social skills and life skills. You’ll have the help of talented therapists like those at www.cvlighthouse.com. Together, you and the therapists will set social goals for your students and watch them grow!
A Visual Vocabulary
As an educator, you’ll also need to be creative! Autistic children rely on visual cues and tactile, tangible reminders. You’ll spend a lot of time creating resources such as visual schedules, token systems, social stories, and more.
Every student will need something a little bit different, and you might not get it right on the first try. That’s why creative problem solvers tend to thrive in Autism classrooms!
The Joys of Working With Autistic Children
Children with autism see the world in a wholly unique way. Once you begin working with autistic children, your perspective might shift in ways you’ve never imagined! In the process, you’ll get to know so many fabulous families and their incredible, inspiring kids!
If you’re still on the fence, there’s more career advice where this came from! Check out the rest of the blog for more posts that can open your eyes to unique career opportunities!