Add caption Teaching students with autism is such a unique and rewarding profession! It is also one of those specialist positions that doesn't include a manual, or a cheat sheet, for success. All students are different, of course, but there are certain steps you can take to set up your classroom to minimize behavioral problems and maximize progress. Here are my recommendations for setting up your autism classroom to result in a win for you and your students! Going back to our classrooms after months of at-home learning will be the perfect opportunity to look at your space with fresh eyes. 1. The Physical Space This is so important for autism classrooms because everyone needs space to move without feeling crowded by furniture or running into things. While considering your environment, think about things like flexible seating arrangements, classroom decoration, and materials placement. Do your students need alternate lighting or benefit from aromatherapy diffusers? A good rule of thu...
Before you even start making a schedule for your room, you have to know what centers you want your students to rotate through.  Whether they actually move around the room or the material is brought to the student, they should be able to move through "centers" which is basically whatever is on their visual schedules.  There are so many different types of centers that you can have in your classroom and they can be called so many different things.  I am going to go through a few different types in this blog post to give you a rough idea of what you could have in your classroom and what it may look like. (You can also read this blog post on how to set up your classroom, even if you have very little space.) 1. Independent center: I started with this center because it is the most important center that you will have in your classroom. There are two things that I continuously work on for all of my students, no matter what grade level they are in, and that is communication skills and ...
Setting up a schedule in a self-contained classroom is one of the hardest parts of our job. I remember my first year of teaching thinking, "why did no one teach me how to do this in college?" After years and years of tweaking my daily schedule, I finally settled on the same master schedule every year and I actually came to love this part!   Don't be fooled , I am an organizational freak , so this type of stuff gets me excited!  Let me preface by saying that there is no magic wand I wave and suddenly my master schedule is created. I WISH! However, after a few drafts, I typically have a working schedule.  Now... don't get me wrong, there are many (many, many) times that I will have a scheduling conflict with a service provider and we will need to both stare at our schedules for what seems like hours to "fix it", but I am telling you, this will happen regardless.  1. Decide Your Chunks of Time: The first thing you should do is set up your schedule by 15, 30 or...