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NO MONEY FOR CLASSROOM SUPPORT: EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM DIFFERENTIATION FOR THE STUDENT ON THE AUSTISM SPECTRUM. By RONNIE YOUNG. WHAT EVERY STAFF MEMBER SHOULD KNOW. What are the implications of having THAT AS student in THAT class?. Is there any support? How will it be arranged?.

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NO MONEY FOR CLASSROOM SUPPORT: EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM DIFFERENTIATION FOR THE STUDENT ON THE AUSTISM SPECTRUM

By

RONNIE YOUNG

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

what every staff member should know
WHAT EVERY STAFF MEMBER SHOULD KNOW

What are the implications of having THAT AS student in THAT class?

Is there any support? How will it be arranged?

How does AS affect THAT student?

What are THAT student’s triggers?

How will you ensure consistency?

How does the student self-soothe?

Are there any social issues?

How much help will be needed with organisation/study skills?

What does the student need to know as pre-requisites?

What may be different in your classroom practice from what s/he has experienced already?

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

coping with change
COPING WITH CHANGE
  • Do what you can to warn your student of any change –
  • But don’t give too much notice
  • Short-term ideas:

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

timetable week beginning

TIMETABLE – week beginning ……………………………………………………………

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

other strategies for change
OTHER STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE
  • Daily or weekly timetable
  • Meet with your student twice daily to give changes
  • Make sure student has timetable of “significant other” in case of unscheduled changes
  • Talk over contingency strategies with your student – flow-charts are useful. Reinforce them constantly.
  • Make sure contingency strategies

are included in tasks

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

giving instructions and or homework
GIVING INSTRUCTIONS AND/OR HOMEWORK
  • Make sure all instructions are written down (not copied from the board or dictated)
  • A printed handout works well
  • Include a checklist of needed materials
  • Ask your student to tell you what s/he thinks s/he has to do
  • Highlight and organise important information
  • Reorganise worksheets/exercises to give as few problems/activities as possible

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

your student should be able to answer
YOUR STUDENT SHOULD BE ABLE TO ANSWER:
  • What am I expected to do?
  • How much am I expected to do?
  • How will I know when I have finished?

4. What do I do next?

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

communication issues
COMMUNICATION ISSUES
  • Make sure all communication is clear, concise and unambiguous:

- take out your books

- go and wash your hands in the toilets

- pull your socks up

- keep your eye on the ball at all times

- has the cat got your tongue?

- I’ll murder you if you do that again

- you’ll freeze to death if you go outside without a coat

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

communication issues1
COMMUNICATION ISSUES
  • Teach the difference between metaphorical and literal language as early as possible and practise it over and over again
  • If your student is looking puzzled or worried, explain what you mean
  • Encourage your student to indicate if they feel puzzled or worried

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

examination questions
EXAMINATION QUESTIONS
  • Can you label this diagram?

2. Julius Caesar conquered Britain in 55 BC. How long ago was that?

3. How would you prioritise these reasons for London being a major tourist centre?

a) historical buildings

b) famous theatres

c) high quality shopping areas

d) eateries of all nationalities

e) excellent transport links

f) beautiful architecture

anode

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

preparing for examinations
PREPARING FOR EXAMINATIONS
  • Practise interpreting exam questions as early as possible
  • Make sure internal examination questions are unambiguous (ask your AS students to interpret what you have written!)
  • Clear revision timetable, preferably weekly
  • Make examination conditions as common place as ordinary lessons
  • Introduce the exam place early
  • A separate room is best, preferably with someone the student knows
  • Provide methods of timing individual questions

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

exam concessions
EXAM CONCESSIONS
  • Make sure needed concessions are written into diagnosis or statement
  • Accommodate accompanying learning disabilities – e.g extra time, printing on coloured paper
  • Can request simplified questions
  • You decide what is needed and make the request – exam boards come under disability law
  • If having no luck, contact Equalities and Human Rights Commission (www.equalityhumanrights.com) – 1845 604 6610

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

cognitive and non verbal communications
COGNITIVE AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATIONS
  • Body language
  • Mind-reading
  • Understanding others’ thoughts and

feelings

  • Lateral thinkers – problem solving

differences

  • Facial expressions
  • Tone and intonation
  • Bombardment of thoughts
  • Having to think of too many things at

once

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

obsessions
OBSESSIONS

Use the obsession constructively:

  • Never take it away as a punishment
  • Use it to alert you there is a problem
  • Use it to access the curriculum
  • Use it to raise self-esteem
  • Use it as an entry into working life

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

problems with group work
PROBLEMS WITH GROUP WORK
  • My student can’t (or won’t ) work with others
  • The other students can’t (or won’t) work with this student

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

the group work problems
THE GROUP WORK PROBLEMS
  • AS student switches off
  • AS student tries to dominate
  • AS student follows own agenda
  • AS student is bored
  • AS student does not know HOW to work in a group
  • Group is too big so AS student is made to be proactive to be heard
  • Group is too small so AS student is made to be proactive to contribute

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

some group work strategies
SOME GROUP WORK STRATEGIES
  • Does student HAVE to work in the group? Would his/her work and/or progress be better if it was done alone?

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

more group work strategies
MORE GROUP WORK STRATEGIES
  • A group does not have to consist of more than 3 people
  • Handpick them
  • Give each person a role
  • Use the strengths of the AS student
  • Give the role of scribe
  • Teach group etiquette - AS

students cannot just pick it up

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

appropriate tasks and strategies
APPROPRIATE TASKS AND STRATEGIES
  • Nothing that involves social imagination “Imagine you are a Roman Centurion”, “How far do you empathise with Lady Macbeth?”
  • Better: What role did Lady Macbeth have in Macbeth’s crimes?
  • Nothing that involves simulated tasks “Get into groups and work out how you would build this bridge”
  • Better: Design a bridge which has the following specifications and which can withstand these conditions”

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

appropriate tasks and strategies1
APPROPRIATE TASKS AND STRATEGIES
  • Break down tasks into bitesize chunks – go through task with student and help him/her to do this for her/himself. Then timetable these chunks
  • Lots of checklists as required
  • Visual learners and very poor planners
  • As much structure and routine and as little choice as possible
  • CONSISTENCY
  • As much explanation as needed
  • Emphasise students’ strengths and work around these whilst individualising needs

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk

and finally
AND FINALLY......
  • Use AS differences as strengths (can work alone, deep interests, lateral thinker)
  • Independent learners!
  • Extraordinarily good memory
  • Loyal and honest students – no guile
  • Usually obedient, focused, reliable, dedicated and punctual
  • Usually try very hard
  • All these suggestions are really just good teaching and personalised learning.

NEOMORPHOSIS: ronnie.young@blueyonder.co.uk