After being a tent camper for years and years, I recently purchased a teardrop camper. I bought it mainly for security and safety while traveling. I hope to join some communities of women campers to make more friends and connections.

I am a reader and a writer; a momma and a grandma; a sister and a daughter. I have been a teacher and librarian for over 25 years. I used to blog here for new teachers, but now I have changed to blogging about my travels, and just for fun.

I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Kids with Special Needs - Autism

I have had a few students in my past 20 years that either were diagnosed with Autism or something along the spectrum of that disorder. I didn't have any knowledge in the area until I had one boy with full-on Autism and his parents gave me lots of reading and research material in order to help me help him. The other students in the school were horrible to him and teased him unmercifully. My class, with whom he spent most of his time, was much less so because we had a discussion about *Bob (*named changed for privacy) and I told them what was going on and how we could all help Bob. He needed to be isolated as much as possible, so he never sat with a group. He did not like to participate with group discussions and group work, so I worked with him individually, and later on in the year, he had "chosen" a couple of buddies in our class with whom he would work. He loved science and nature and math, too. One sad story: one day Bob was out on the playground and some kids showed him a grasshopper that they had found in the grass. Their way of torturing Bob was to torture the poor grasshopper - they pulled off the grasshopper's legs one at a time. Bob began screaming and was completely out of control. We finally called his mom to come pick him up. I tried everything the literature had told me to do, but nothing seemed to work. I was devastated that Bob was traumatized by this event. It took a while for Bob to want to go out to recess, but he finally did. I went with him for about a week and made sure no other kids bothered him. About this time, he had developed his buddies in my class, so they were able to assist him. I sometimes wonder what ever happened with this boy. He moved after school was out and no one knew where he went. I was surprised that his following year's teacher never called. Maybe the parents decided to home school him. All this just to say, please get to know your students and their families. You never know what is going on if you don't seek out information about them.

I found this really great blog post about the types of Autism and ways that teachers can help the ones who are affected by it. Check it out here.

By the way, all kids are special needs kids.

1 comment:

  1. What a sad story but I'm so glad Bob had you in his life! Isn't amazing how many of us have had to teach students with autism by the seat of our pants! Thanks for reading my blog post and leaving a comment!