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Child Initiated For Children With Autism


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hi, training in special school and all the children in our class have autism. The FS isnt very well set up in the class and we do far too much teacher directed 'work' activities BUT does anyone have any experience of child initiated things for children with autism. I want to make my teaching and running of the class more play based but the children wouldnt cope with free access to the amount of resources that most people on here seem to suggest for the child initiated parts of the day. Also without adult support a lot of our children would spend teh day running around our class, not really 'learning'. Was wondering if anyone has any experience with this kind of situation and how do they deal with it. Or can I ask any one on here what they suggest from their expertise in the FS and what they think they'd do in the same situation.

 

Sorry for the long post but I really want to get this right and begin to set up and really good foundation stage curriculum that follows all of its core principals but more importantly works for the children.

 

THANKS for your help.

Oh yeah and enjoy the bank holiday everyone. One of our little ones seems to have given me their cold so feel rubbish (i guess this is the joys of my first year in a school-still building up my immunity!!)

 

 

Jo

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I'm in a mainstream Nursery class but we have three children (all boys) on the autistic spectrum. We have very little support and none of them have a statement.

 

The way that we cope is to use a visual timetable. I've used many of my own pictures - photographs, pictures from eduacational catalogues, clipart, and visual timetable websites. I've managed to build up a resource bank so that most of our activities have a picture representing them. Each child has a chart where each session I put up a timetable of what's happening during the session. They also have within this 2 or 3 activities that I would like them to access during free play. These children can't cope with having the many choices that the other children have, so I reduce this for them. For example, there may be a picture for puzzles, followed by threading or sand play or playing a game with an adult. I may also put up a choice of 2 activities, therefore making the whole "choosing thing" more restricted and therefore easier for them. The cards have sticky velcro on the back so they can go and take the card from the chart and take it to the appropriate activity. When they've finished that activity, they replace the card and take the next one. They really take advantage of the visual timetable - it helps them to see what is happening and when during the session and definitely focuses them to access certain activities rather than running around often creating havoc and not achieving anything.

It does need an adult to oversee the timetable with the children, but they are encouraged to work through the activities independently and are rewarded with either a special activity of their choice (2 of them would work at the computer non-stop if they could, so this is often given as a reward for completing other activites) or a special sticker for their chart which eventually leads to a treat.

 

Of course the visual timetable benefits all the children, but these children have individual ones, catering for their needs and has really helped calm them down and focus their attention.

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P.S. hope you're feeling better with your cold. I used to get awful colds when I was first teaching, but can honestly say that I haven't had a full-blown cold (only sniffles) for over ten years, so I think I can safely say that I have built up immunity after teaching for 18 years!

 

Jackie

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thanks for you help. Feeling bit better today thank you. Hope it doesnt take me 18 years to stop getting colds!!!! We do have visual timetables and I think I will try and make these schedules more geared around choices but I know that for a few children in my class they would not chose something from this board as they do not visually discriminate symbols yet and wouldnt associate pictures or photos with an activity. If I had a table set up and sat a child there with an adult with a choice of maybe 2 or three activities on the table and from this allow the child to chose, getting rid of the others once they had made a choice-is this still child initiated?? I would only use the adult there to focus child not to help or interfere (!) with activity!!

 

thanks

 

Jo

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Hi

 

I have made my own resources in the past to make things more play-based. For example, I had a child in my group who loved Thomas the Tank engine, so I used lots pictures for matching games, for instance.

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There is a child in our FSU who we feel is on the autistic spectrum who will be starting Reception in Sept. He doesn't show that he understands instructions or concepts such as number, he doesn't communicate other than babble occasionally and doesn't give any eye contact at all. I'm not sure where to begin 'teaching' him or ensuring he learns as he is very severe...does anybody have any tips?

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