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Autism Awareness Blog Hop

I'm so happy to be posting as part of the Autism Awareness Blog Hop.  If you haven't had a chance to see the great posts so far, click on the picture below and go to the first post.

As a special education teacher, I've had the privilege of teaching several students with autism.  I can honestly say that these students have been some of my favorite students ever.  If you will be teaching a student with autism, the biggest advice I can give you is to take the time (and it may take awhile) to get to know the student.  Find out their likes and interests.  It may take longer to build a relationship with this student, and it may be different than the relationship you have with other students.  However, the time you invest into the relationship will be worthwhile in the end.

I alos want to emphasize that if you've taught one student with autism, you've taught ONE student with autism.  People with autism are so different from each other.  What worked with one student, may not work with another student.  However, there are some characteristics that many students with autism share and you may notice.

1.  Figurative language can be difficult for students with autism to understand.  One of my favorite girl students had autism and was just adorable.  But she didn't understand figurative language and was very literal.  I would tell the class that we would need to finish an activity so we could "move on".  She always thought we were actually moving.  LOL.

2.  Eye contact can be difficult and uncomfortable for people with autism.  I have a student with autism now and he has a hard time even looking into the camera if I take a picture.  He's always looking off to the side in every single picture I've taken so far.

3.  They may insist on talking about a topic of interest to them even though no one else is interested in talking about this topic.  You might want to consider some social skills instruction and practice if this is an area of concern.

One thing that can be helpful as a teacher of students with autism is to learn what the students are and use those interests in your instruction.  My first student with autism LOVED Star Wars.  I was able to take this interest and make an academic game for him that he loved.  

The best part was he was engaged and interacting with his peers.  You can read that blog post {here}.

An easy way to learn your students interests is by getting parent input.  Really, they know their child best and can give you great information that you can then tailor to your classroom.  I use this Reinforcement Survey to help me learn about students' interests.  Click on the picture to download your free copy.

You'll also want to stop by The Corner on Character to see her blog post today about students with autism.

Make sure you check back tomorrow to go to the last post of the blog hop at Teaching Through Turbulence.  There's going to be a giveaway that you'll want to enter!


  1. I have been working with students who have autism for the past four years and I love all the advice you posted on here. I am currently finishing my Intervetion Specialist license and I can not wait until I have my own classroom. I have read a couple of your other posts and I feel that I will be refering back to this for resources. Thanks for everything you post!

  2. Thanks for the freebie, Angelia! I can see using it with my gen ed kiddos, too.

    I'm posting today over at the Corner if your readers want to hop over and see the books I use that showcase these special students.

    The Corner On Character


    1. Barbara - So sorry I didn't add a link to your blog today. You're added now!


    2. No worries ... thanks, Angelia!

  3. Thanks for sharing the reinforcement survey! I am definitely going to use that next year!
    Fun in ECSE


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