Please Help - 6:1:1 6th Grade Autism

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by kmd298, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. kmd298

    kmd298 New Member

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    Sep 1, 2010

    Hi All,

    I was just hired for my first year teaching in NYC's District 75 (Special Education Schools). I was initially told I would be teaching high school students with multiple disabilities, mainly focusing on vocational skills. Knowing this, I have spent weeks preparing materials, researching, etc. I was told yesterday that I would instead now be teaching 6th grade 6:1:1 kids with autism. School starts one week from today and I have absolutely no materials, and no idea what I'm doing. Additionally, IEPs wont be available until Tuesday! If anyone out there has any experience with this grade/population, PLEASE post anything you think could be helpful, especially in the beginning of the year! First day ideas/activities? Class rules? Anything would be SO helpful!! Thank you!!

    Kate
     
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  3. saralynn2006

    saralynn2006 Companion

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    Sep 10, 2010

    i dont have any experience with 6th graders, but i do have a few years experience with children who have autism. i have been working with a preschooler with autism for about 2 years now, and i think the biggest help to your classroom will be a visual schedule. stick to your schedule as much as possible -- surprises are a big no-no (meltdowns!)! sometimes even a timer or some kind of reminder before transitioning to a new activity may help some students. hands on learning would be helpful to work on their sensory needs. also, even though they are 6th graders, if one of them is having a really rough day stimming on something (staring at lights, repeating things over and over, tapping pencil non stop, etc.) playing with play dough may help. you could maybe do it as a reward system or something if your students really benefit from it. hopefully some of these ideas help you out...like i said i dont know if they will apply to older students but they are worth a try! :) good luck! autism is an interesting disability and no two students with autism benefit from the same exact things so experiment and see what works best for your kiddos!
     
  4. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Sep 10, 2010

    Have you checked out the special education message board? There are a couple of teachers there who teach similar classes and have posted some amazing ideas!
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Sep 11, 2010

    Have a schedule, even on the first day. Try to keep it consistent. Also, spend the first few days getting to know the students. Rules and procedures are important to develop because students with autism tend to stick to them all year.

    When I got married, my students with autism never stopped using my maiden name (even though I got married in the first month of school!!!). If I changed a procedure, it was very difficult for them to switch. So try to stay as consistent as possible.

    Spend the first few days reading aloud, especially social stories. Teach rules and procedures. Let the students know where a cool down place is (make sure this is set up somewhere in the classroom and easy to access but separate from the other students). Provide an opportunity to get to know the school, where places are and how you want them to go there. Introduce them to the office staff, principal, other teachers, etc. Keep it simple for yourself!
     

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