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Compiled By: luvinlife

This collection contains information from teachers regarding students with autism and strategies to help them in the classroom.

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Posted by: Ima Teacher

I've had one student with diagnosed autism, and one student who was I'd be willing to bet was autistic, although there was no documentation in his records.

Both were a HOOT to have in class. They didn't socialize with the other kids much, but the other kids were pretty good to try to include them anyway. Both were VERY literal, which made things a little tough since I teach literature, which relies so much on figurative language. One always spoke in complete sentences and always repeated everything. For instance, if I said, "Are you going to the library?" He would say, "You want to know if I'm going to the library?" For both I had to say their names before speaking to them or they didn't answer me. One was very good natured and worked hard on all assignments I gave. The other was generally the same, but had a "meltdown mode" I triggered on a few occasions. Both made good grades, had no aides, and added a lot of unique personality to the room.

One came back to see me last year. He's a junior in high school! He shook my hand, asked how I was doing, and then proceeded to tell me he was practicing shaking hands and looking into people's eyes while he talked. :D

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Posted by: NCteacher

I have taught 6 or 7 kids with autism- like the others said- for the most part they were a delight to have in class. The kids were very, very different. A couple of my boys did not like to be touched at all and had some self stimulating behaviors (rocking, humming, moving hands). I had one boy who was ESL and autistic....he would get frustrated in class sometimes and stand up and yell, "You FIRED!! You FIRED!!!" . I was fortunate enough to work in a district that provided one on one aides for these kids. You truly get a sense of someone being trapped inside a body.

Ok- so none of that helps you in class. Here are some things that helped me- having all of their notebooks, folders, book covers and pencils to be one color. Easier for them to find. I had a schedule (with pictures) on each of those kids' desks. The schedules were laminated and they used a vis-a-vis marker to check off each item. I tried to seat them away from air conditioning vents or high traffic areas, since some autistic kids can be extremely sensitive to noise. I always had a plan for what to do in case of a blow up- the autistic kids I had were all prone to having these blow ups when they felt very frustrated or overwhelmed. I talked to the class as a whole about what to do in that case- which was basically to ignore and stay away and stay quiet. We created a flip book for one kid who was nonverbal. It had pages with pictures for lunch choice, a page with happy, sad, mad, etc. emotions, a page with a kid with his hand fella would point to the appropriate picture. It was quite effective. For example, if a teacher stopped him in the hall and said, "David, how are you?" David would whip out his flip book and point to the picture of the face that matched his feelings. We had a wonderful resource teacher who worked on communication issues with our kids. She would have them look in mirrors and practice showing different emotions on their faces. Autistic kids can have a very flat affect.

I hope this helps- it was a challenge sometimes, but I really enjoyed teaching my "artistic" kids (that was what my regular ed kids called them!) Good luck!

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Posted by: Fenfer25

I had a couple of autistic students last year. The one thing that you have to have is structure and consistency. Any change in the day, can really upset them. Visuals are a must as the above post mentioned. They want to know what is going on ahead of time.

My student had a feeling thermometer. It went from 0 to 5. You would want for him to be at a 3. But one of the problems that autistic students have is dealing with their emotions. If he was above a 3 he had some choices of tasks to help him calm down. The one that worked the best was putting together interlocking cubes. It worked every time. The nice thing about it was that once he cooled down, he was fine. It was also hard for him to verbalize his feeling, so if he showed me he was above a 3 I would tell him to choose a task. We made him a task board. There was clip art of different activities attached with velcro and he would tear off the task of his choice and give it to me. Tasks might be: blocks, reading, drawing, etc.

He had difficulty with organization. So one of the interventions we implemented was to bind all of their subject folders together. This helped to be sure that everything was all together. They would both become frustrated if they could not find something.

The best intervention was to have a set of green and red stickers. These stickers were for homework. Green meant "for homework", red meant "stay home". He would lose his homework and become upset or papers were coming home and the student didn't know what they were for. Yes, we went over it in class, but the colored stickers helped him be more organized and remember what was homework. It relieved a lot of stress at home and at school.

Dismissal was tough for him too. We had p.e. at the end of the day. When we came back, we would grab our backpacks and line up. He was scared he was going to miss the bus and would have an anxiety attack. So, we allowed him to pack his backpack early and take it with him to p.e. He was dismissed by the p.e. teacher and this solved the problem. It takes a team effort sometimes.

Talk with parents, past teachers, and hopefully you will be given opportunities to attend staff development. It was a challenging year, but I loved them both! Both of my students were exceptionally gifted and were able to grasp concepts taught in class rather quickly.

It is also important that if you do not have an aid to help out that you make a plan for if the unexpected happens. If they are not able to calm down, what then? Is there a place where they can go to calm down. Any day that was not a "normal" should come up with interventions...just in case.

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few things
Posted by: kali

Make a visual schedule. Ask with your speech or sped person if they have a schedule icon program. Ours does, and they are great since they are very specific and school related. If not, I would recommend this student's one on one starts the year of with a project...taking picture at each session of the day...morning meeting, lunch, recess, etc. and putting them in a pocket chart, book, or some other way this student can effortlessly access.

Always give warnings before changing activities. Perhaps a few more than you usually do. Like when there is 10 minutes left and then 5 minutes left..and then a 2 min clean up warning or changing activities warning.

Be careful with sarcasm, idioms, body or other nonverbal communication. Some times this is very confusing for real literal thinkers.

Have the child's aide work on feelings and emotions. Showing different models and examples daily.

Know that an important strategy for your student will be how they can ground themselves and feel in control of themselves. Give your aide the freedom to make the call when this student needs to leave the room and go for a walk. This can support their interest too. I had autistic student who loved creatures! His 1-1 would take him to see the turtle in the building and it was a way for him to calm down.

Have a box, tent, or other "special" area where all kids can escape to when they are feeling like they need a break.

Do not expect eye contact always, as that can be a challenge for autistic kids.

Watch for signs of self abuse...even if it seems they put there feet under their chair? chew their mouth? Bang their head? etc. Sometimes these children have a higher level tolerance to pain.

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Posted by: GreatGrin

My first reaction, although I support inclusion, the Gen Ed setting the least restrictive environment for this student? IF this student demonstrates the behaviors you listed, you are going to have parents complaining about not only the safety of their children, but the effects of this student's behaviors on their child's education. Even with a one-on-one aide, these behaviors can occur, and if anything, you might have more disruption as he/she tries to intervene.
If the child demonstrates the listed behaviors it might be a sign that they are overstimulated and can't handle a large class setting for long periods of time. What about weaning him or her in during the subjects he or she is really good at or likes? It sounds like the student is going to need a lot of social coachng so you are so lucky to have an aide there to help, but thestudent needs to demonstrate success in self control and following directions in order to participate fully. Start in small increments, rewarding the success.
IF the behaviors aren't demonstrated and you just need help working with the aide, give her an idea of what your lessons are going to be that week, discuss how she can be utilized to help everyone. Sounds like he/she is going to need to make accomodations to the students work as well. I would almost start out by letting her completely focus on the student, and let you teach, and as things get into a routine, both of you will naturally see how you can take a team approach to the class. Share your plans to start, and let him/her get an idea of your teaching style and classroom management. Watching can be a great learning experience.
One last thing-I would prepare the class with a peer awareness training. Talk about the student with whatever language would be most appropriate about the student. Will the parents be ok if you tell the kids the child is autistic? IF so, make it a teaching lesson about Autism. Chart a list of strengths about the student and be honest with the kids about what might happen and why. Most importantly give your class a plan in case something major, like a meltdown, occurs. I train our teachers to give their kids a key phrase-such as Take 5. When the kids hear the teacher say this they know to go to the other side of the room and not watch, OR in some cases, leave the room calmly taking their materials with them, and not making eye contact with the upset student. Then they retreat to a safe room so that the upset student doesn't have an audience and everyone is safe. You should establish a CARE Team or a teacher to back you up for coverage.
WHEW! Good luck and keep us updated!

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You have an aid! Wow!
Posted by: Fenfer25

You are so lucky. I had two autistic students last year and an aid that came in for about an hour.

These are the interventions we used that made a huge difference:

Not only does he need a visual schedule, but we used a feeling thermometer and task board. On this board the feeling thermometer was on the left side of the board. The thermometer shows the numbers 1-5. If the student is at a 3, then they are feeling "okay". If they are a 4, they are angry. 5 means "very angry"...and often they act out when they are at a 4 or 5 because they had difficulty expressing and coping with the frustration they were feeling. I would usually ask my students "How are you feeling?" because they had difficulty expressing their feelings, the thermometer worked wonders because they would reply, "I'm a 3." If they were a 4, or I suspected they were struggling....I would tell them to choose a task. Talking about the problem increased the frustration level. Task cards were placed next to the number 4 and 5. These were tasks that would help the student calm down....blocks, drawing, computer. These are not a reward, but tasks that helps them cool off. It really worked!

I also attached an exit card by the door. If I noticed that the frustration level was increasing and my student was not responding to me, then I would give him an exit card and this allowed him to get out of the room for a cool down.

Homework was a real issue. The aid could help fill out the planner to ensure that the homework gets home. My two students had a real organization problem. On homework assignments, I would place a green sticker on the homework sheet meaning it needed to be returned to school. Red sticker on papers meant they could stay home. It was a system they understood and the parents loved it.

It was a challenging year, but worth it. I learned so much. Keep in contact with the parent and communication is key. Having extra help in class will help you greatly.

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Posted by: 3gradeteacher

I was asked to keep a journal of communication between home and school. Write what the day was like, a good thing that happened so that the parents can have a conversation starter or two, and the parents did the same thing. This way I had an idea what the night was like. I would also be asking for time to meet periodically with the whole team to discuss how to help this child. You can have the aide do the journal. Have the aide and child near the door. THis way if an episode comes up, they can be ushered out the door. Training for protecting you and your students if the child does anything. Ask how to properly restrain the child to protect yourself from any potential problems.
Biggest thing is to be consistent. I always told this childs parent if I would be out, to prepare the child.

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I thought of some more tips!
Posted by: Fenfer25

You should also see if the spec. ed department can help you periodically with "social stories". These are stories that help with understanding of procedures, proper behaviors, etc. They can be about anything. If I had a problem, then the spec. ed department would develop a story. My student was getting very upset while playing twister during indoor recess. He loved the game but there was always a problem when he lost the game. So they created a story that basically stated that it was okay to lose a game sometimes....sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. It also discussed how to react when you win or lose. It was very helpful. I think there is a program that was developed to create these books.

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Autism is close to my heart
Posted by: linda2671

I am a first grade teacher and I also have a 24 year old moderately autistic daughter. I had a problem with inclusion because so many classroom teachers DO NOT want autistic children in their classrooms. Some were wonderful and taught with their hearts. Others were horrible to her. One of the most important things is to prepare your class for the situation. Then look for compassionate kids who can be buddies. Everything is concrete for autistic kids. I've had autistic kids in my classroom. I give them 3 colored cards to carry with them. I tell them that if they follow the behavior guidelines I set for them, they get to keep all their cards. If they don't follow the guidelines, they lose a card. If they lose all their cards, they lose a recess. It's funny that they really care more about their cards than they do recess. Concrete things like that really make a difference. I don't know how severely autistic your student is. There are so many degrees and so many manifestations. But it sounds like your heart is in the right place, and you'll do a great job with him.

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I had an austistic child for two years...
Posted by: JKB

Typically, I teach third grade. The first year that I had my autistic child, he was in my third grade class. Then, last year, I had a 3rd and 4th grade split and kept my autistic child for a second MY choice! :) He was an absolute delight and I am going to miss him this year!

One thing that I found MOST helpful was a book entitled My Friend has Autism that was written by Beverly Bishop. This book was written purposely to help classmates understand having a fellow student with autism. Read it to your class! It will help other children understand this child more fully.

Hope this is helpful! Have a great year! JKB :s)

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Visual Task Card
Posted by: JKB

Another thing that I did for my autistic child was that I made 5 "schedule" cards, with graphics and times. For example:


8:35-8:45 :s) Welcome to a New Day!
8:45-9:00 :) Morning Paper (Teacher takes attendance, lunch count, etc.)
9:00-9:15 :cool: Morning Meeting

I used graphics that related to each item. For example, I used a book for Silent Reading time, etc. (For my example above, I just used the smilies available here on PT.)

I had one card for each day and they were laminated. We kept them in a folder. Then, each day, he would pull out the daily schedule and kept it on his desk. He knew what we were doing and when we were doing it. Autistic children are very routine and schedule oriented.

Another helpful tip.......if you are going to do anything OUT of the normal routine on any given day, such as have an afternoon assembly, let your autistic child know ahead of time. My child handled these alterations in our routine much better when I talked to him and explained them. If something was spontaneous and he didn't have forewarning, it was much more difficult for him to be able to accept the change.

Hope this is helpful, too! JKB

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Posted by: PPCDTeacher

This book is TERRIFIC:
Ten Things Your Student with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm and Veronica

and so is this one:
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm

They are similar, but I would recommend getting them BOTH--- they are SO helpful, and quick and easy reads-- I love them BOTH. I have recommended them to parents also and the parents have found them helpful.

Also this book to read to your class, maybe, about a little girl who's best friend Will is autistic-- I love it:
My Best Friend Will by Jamie Lowell and Tara Tuchel

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Autism resources
Posted by: Fadora

Paula Kluth has authored/co-authored several books that provide excellent, practical strategies for inclusion, with an emphasis on working with students on the Autism Spectrum. She's also an awesome presenter if you ever have the chance to attend a conference session of hers. Good Luck!

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reading programs
Posted by: Tarin

I would recommend a relatively new program called eReadingPro. It's not really new I guess, as it used to be called Out of the Box Reading. I attended a workshop here about a year and a half ago. Edmark Reading Program uses mostly dolch words, whereas eReadingPro uses words nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. These words seem to be easier for kids to remember as sight words. It comes with a schedule that takes you from presenting single words, then 'couplets', small phrases and then sentences. We have a child at our school that I've been working with this year who has Down syndrome AND Autism, and she has come a long way using this program! The parents are using it at home with the child and then bring it to school for us to use here. I hope this helps you!

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Posted by: serendipity

I have used the computer version and the kit when I taught Special Education students. I prefer the computer. I agree with the first response. It can be boring. I think I'm right in saying that the intended audience (clients) are students with cognitive impairments (IQ around 70). It has a lot of repetition and builds a concrete sight vocabulary (nouns & some adjecives). There are over 200 lessons in the 1st level. I would start with the lesson on the first sight word (horse) if they have some computer skills. I think it's about lesson 15. If a child completes all the lessons they can usually move into a late grade one sight word reader. Some children don't need or like the program enough to complete it, but it gives them some success and a feel for reading that motivates them to read other material. Children don't need to know letter sounds to work on the program. It is very expensive. I have had several children in the PDD spectrum that liked the structure and predictability of the program. I added the words from the program to the class word wall. I put the stories into a colourful Duo Tang and it did help several children feel like readers. I always wanted to write more exciting stories but never did.

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Posted by: dramacentral


Without knowing more about you and your teaching goals, it's hard to say how you will feel about your new position. I can just tell you what my own experience was.

When I took my job teaching autistic children, I was very young. Just out of college. I had worked with many children before, but never an autistic child. I had read about autism, but found the day to day reality with the children to be very eye-opening. In the beginning I relied on my assistants and interns, and only after following the system they already had did I feel comfortable taking a leadership role and changing it. Some things were counterintuitive to me - I felt like I was learning to work with children all over again.

I found the job to be very rewarding and got lots of great experience, but it was tiring. Sometimes the kids would appear to make progress and then suddenly "lose" the skills we'd taught them. It frustrated me very much when I couldn't get them to comply or when they engaged in behavior that was bizarre or hurtful to themselves or others. I developed a very close attachment to them, but it felt quite alien at first. You don't always get the typical feedback from them - you can't always tell by looking at them whether they are listening to you as you speak, or even if they know you are present. Some kids are very affectionate, but others may not show any signs that they like you or even recognize you from day to day. Some of my kids took a whole year just to learn to say my name - but when they did, it felt amazing. That is one of my proudest moments as a teacher.

If you are still deciding which job to take, I'd try to investigate a few things:
- what are the educational programs and interventions used with the autistic children? do they follow a behavioral approach, how rigid is it, would you feel comfortable with it? do they use food rewards, and if so, are you OK with that? (some people aren't)
- When the kids don't comply or act out, what system is in place? Will they train you in it? How upsetting would it be for you to actually implement it? I learned how to physically restrain students and never needed that training, but when it did actually come time to do it, I found that the school was over-using the technique, and furthermore, that the technique was designed for smaller children rather than the 100-pound boy I was dealing with. This led to my decision to leave the program.
- who will your assistants be? are they paraprofessionals, interns, etc? what education and training do they have? My assistants were a mixture of college students and long-time paraprofessionals. They were mostly great and willing to cooperate with me, and loved the children. The ones who didn't, didn't make it in my classroom. Coworkers can make the difference between burnout and loving your job - I have been there.
- What is your definition of success in teaching? Would it be OK with you to work for a year with a child who makes little observable progress or who appears to lose skills s/he's learned? This was hard for me, especially in the beginning. My classes always contained a mix - some students made huge gains, others very few. The ones who really soared kept my spirit up to deal with the ones who struggled.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

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Some ideas for you..
Posted by: Elizabeth Ann

First off, you are on the right track by observing, so give yourself a pat on the back and persevere! Second, here are a few suggestions for potty training: we use plastic gloves and gently facilitate the process by encouraging the child in a firm but not stern voice to sit on the toilet. If the child gets up and resists, the child is further encouraged by helping remove clothes etc. - one of our students had a routine of removing all of his clothes but he did learn to go to the bathroom this way and eventually we changed his "routine" by telling him "Pants and underwear only" etc. and sometimes saying "Ms. T.A. does not take off socks. Ok to leave socks on." etc. If the child responds well to visual and spoken cues, I have noted that simple directions (two to three words work best). Focus by using child's name (notice if this child has a problem with noise - then speak softly to focus - some autistic children are said to have super hearing or loudness sensitivity) "Please - pull down pants, sit down, sit back, scoot back" or "Sit down" etc. (one please is good for most directions to show respect). At first, eventhough you always respect the child's privacy, you may have to repeat the child's name for every direction to focus and if a boy encourage the child to "push down" etc., get down on their level works well too. (We can look like monsters looming above them!)
It is a lot of trial and error but patience and understanding is the key and once some piece of the skill is mastered, privacy and respect are essential to ensuring positive repeat performance. (Reward may work as well ..."Go potty, get computer time".) Choices for learning that work for us : TEAACH tasks, picture cards with three or two post-it note pull off identifiers, set tasks to music or have music playing in background, 2-3 choice reading questions - also post -its to pull off choices. Laminated photographs with simple word choices - girl puts on coat etc., boy eats cereal, puzzles and semsory exploration.

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Without knowing the child...
Posted by: SoniaT

...or the particular set up of your class, I don't think I can give you any direct advice. Are you looking at when these behaviors happen and noting specific triggers? Perhaps some of them can be "headed off at the pass". What purpose do the behaviors seem to serve for him? Is there a way you can meet those purposes in advance of the behavior, or give him the skills to get those needs met appropriately?

I'm drawing blanks about some good, quick resources to recommend in terms of best understanding autism spectrum disorders. Googling "autism society america" will probably end you out at the ASA homepage, which should have some pamphlets to download.

Fundamentally, you're not there to teach him new skills--children functioning at his level need an extraordinary amount of repetition, practice, and individual instruction/intervention, and you don't see him often enough or intensively enough to take that on. If I were you, I'd look at arranging the environment so he was more likely to engage in appropriate behaviors--have a little trampoline available so he get the sensory stimulation he may be seeking with the table jumping, put things he prefers to use in the part of the room with the fewest wall decorations, etc. Communicate to grandma exactly what he's doing--ask her what this usually means at home, and how SHE responds. (If I work with a kid who hits/bites me, the first thing I do is figure out the warning signs and the function--then, I intervene as soon as I see warning signs by prompting the child through a behavior that meets the same function, like signing for "break" when he's trying to get out of doing something).

Good luck!

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one on one is the key
Posted by: mrssimon2gr

I have a 12 year old with autism and I have had many children with autistic children in my classroom.
One on one is the key for the situation, I would almost guarantee it. This is not "routine" for this child and that is one of the things children with autism thrive on....once a week for a short amount of time is VERY hard for them. Your environment is different, you are a different person that he is used to and - I'm guessing, you are doing different activities each week....this is his mind creates chaos.
I would go to the pastor and ask if maybe he knows someone with a background in sped....a para or aide perhaps.... or maybe a CNA or nurse even...someone who can be VERY patient with someone
Then, I would work with this person to create a predictable routine for this child. Ask Grandma what he likes...what are his favorite things.....use this knowlege to help get him to come in the room,
Next, establish and write a schedule of what will happen when the child is in the room with that person.....then, put the words with pictures and show the child....first, we come in (show a pic of a child coming through a door) then we sit down and say a prayer (another pic this time of a child praying......)
you need to have this schedule stay the same as much as possible because you have very little exposure to him.
Ok, of course their will be times when schedules HAVE to celebrations,etc.... during those times realize that this change IS NOT fun for this child it is more chaos....if he can go off to the side with that 1:1 person and just do his routine, it will be a lot easier.
I would not be this rigid in the classroom, but since this is SUCH a limited amount of time and the home is not a supportive, safe place, well....I am trying to give you tricks to help both of you have a calm, learning environment.
As he gets to know you and trust you - you will be able to add new things with the schedule.
If you want, message me anytime. I know we're lucky to have had lots of help with our son.

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I have some questions for you (long)
Posted by: josephineg

before giving any suggestions:

1. When you say "he does not have a good home situation", what do you mean? It is possible that most if not all of his behaviorial issues are due to that.

2. If he has autism, he could be low-, medium-, or high-functioning. From what you say, if he is non-verbal, he might not be high-functioning, but he could be. Has he been evaluated by a professional and can grandma share some of that information with you, since you have become one of his teachers? Autism can run a pretty wide range of functioning and behaviors. Can you get the grandmother to tell you more about his evaluation(s), or to find out and tell you? Really, without this information, you won't know how much to realistically expect from him. It's not fair to you for the grandmother to just drop him off with you with no information to work with. You're not a baby-sitter, you're a teacher and you are entitled to some information here.

3. Can you ask the grandmother WHY she will not keep him with her, especially if that was working fairly well before? I'd ask her if I were you. Seeing as his behavior falls into such a wide range, I think you are on safe ground to ask her for more information and to get an answer. As a last resort, you can tell her that if "we" cannot get these behaviors under control (make sure you tell her about the hitting, biting, and kicking), he might not be able to continue to stay in the class. Maybe that will at least get her attention and get her on board to support and assist you with some information.

4. A child who hits/bites/kicks you at random may be a risk to you and/or to the other children. I would quickly get that conversation in with grandma and plan a strategy. I agree with prior posters that you might need to "bone up" on dealing with autistic children--but I would attempt to find out more about where on the spectrum he lies first, and understand the role of his home life in his behavior.

5. I don't know many 6 year olds who can look at books or sit by themselves on the floor for 1.75 hours, much less a child with autism. He may need a level of attention that the situation does not permit you to provide, if you are teaching the other students. You need more information to come up with a strategy that supports him (and you).

Hope that helps. Keep us posted.

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child w/autism
Posted by: lunalu

I had a similar experience this year as a resource teacher and the child was obviously placed in an inappropriate environment. Inspite of my best efforts, I could not get anyone to listen to me ...until the day I was injured by the child who was then removed and placed in a stricter environment.
So, having had this horrible experience, here are a few ideas I can offer you and I'm really hoping you are in a public school system:
*document everything, both in narration and using a checklist so you can get some numerical data. For example, time on task/off task, hitting or touching other children, and successes. How you modified work, interventions and the results of including dates. Make a chart and put it on a clipboard. Your asst. can help collect data for you.
*call out the SPED forces. I assume you have a resource teacher and school psyc. at your school? Ask them to come in, observe and give you help. Hopefully you have a person in charge of behavioral disorders or an autistic specialist in the district. I would ask to have direct time from the austic specialist put on the IEP and to include training for you and the asst. If you feel the IEP does not meet her needs, ask the SPED teacher to call either a special review or atleast an educator's meeting.
*If you feel that you or other students may be harmed by this student, put it in writing and give a copy to the principal. Be sure the principal knows what is going on in the classroom. I would ask the principal to come and observe your class. You need to know that they support you and what is best for all of your students.
*A couple of things helped my student; increased meds and time out of the class to help with his sensory needs. He would visit the PMD class and get to bounce in the balls, bean bag chair, a swing etc. You might want to talk to the OT about a huggy vest or one of those cushions that gives feedback so she can sit still. Ask if a sensory diet is appropriate and get directions as to how and when. You should probably create a corner in the classroom with a beanbag chair or place she can go to stim if she has to, rather than roaming.This can be a reward for completed work.
*The child does belong to the parents and I don't know how reasonable they are, but asking them for help might be a good thing. They might be able to tell you what calms her at home and how to get the best behavior. Most likely they are very stressed too, but if you can get them working with you and supporting you, you'll be better off.
*Oh yes, reduce the stimulation in your class if possible, lower the lights (use the overhead instead) , play soft music for independent work, you can try headphones, we called them "quiet ears" for reading. You can get them at Walmart in the hunting section to block out loud noises $6. Yes, you need a behavior system, but you should get this support from your SPED team. Do you know about making a visual schedule? Use lots and lots of visuals. You might try books on tape. Ask your asst. to lower her voice and speak softly in the classroom. I hope some of these ideas are helpful and I'm so sorry.

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social stories and autism
Posted by: bunny417

Hi! I am a resource room teacher with 2 students with autism on my caseload. I use social storeis a LOT with my students. Before I begin anything new I write a story with them and utilize a great deal of pictures. With my lower functioning student(who spends 1/2 of his day in an AI self contained program) I read and reread the story quite alot. Whenever he shows me he is anxious in relation to the change OR asks for it to be read, I will get the story out and reread it again. After a while the story isn't needed. The child will eventually internalize the expected behavior and I then move onto another story. I try to work on just a few 2-3 stories at once if that. I am happy to share any stories with you if you'd like. I've also got a format and charting which helps you evaluate if the story was helpful in changing the child's behavior.

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