I am privileged to teach two amazing classes of boys with Autism. There’s been an intense focus on Autism in education and mainline news in recent years. But what I know about these students is I get the sweetest hugs, see joy for stories and books, and feel their appreciation of having me for a teacher.
One day I was absent because of a medical appointment. Just a regular thing and nothing serious. I had to miss one of these classes. Their teacher didn’t tell them why I was out and they came to checkout books with their teacher. The next day one of the students sweetly said, “Were you at the doctor? Did you have to get a shot?” He had such concern over my well being.
It’s definitely love all around!
With a class of kindergarteners with limited speech information skills lessons are a bit out of reach. I set a basic routine for class. We listen to an audio book, read a story, do an activity and then check out books. Some weeks go better than others. Sometimes the lineup I had planned takes ten minutes and other weeks we are so engaged I stretch to the next week.
This post is definitely going somewhere….I’m just slow like that.
One thing I know about Autism is that students do better with routine. I can do routine.
But good golly do I love a bit of chaos!
When the class walked into the library, I apologized to the teacher assistant who stays with them. I said, “it’s going to be a bit crazy!” She insisted it was okay. She knows how I operate!
We listened to our audio book and then I pulled out my two laundry baskets full of puppets and masks. First I offered animal puppets to each student. The took turns going behind the puppet theater to move their puppet around while I narrated a silly story for them. Then after each boy had his turn we just let them be imaginative and play.
I have serious love for these boys. And only one of those reasons is that they like a bit of chaos just as much as I do!