August 25, 2014

Autism 101- Easing Into Work

Hi All,
      I thought I'd give an update on what we're doing in our kindergarten autistic classroom.  Things are coming along.  Each day is better than the day before.  We've been working a lot on routines, following picture schedules, and using the communication board.
      Even though it's mainly about routines right now, we are still doing work.  Mainly so my students can understand that work is a part of the routine.  I like to present from the Promethean board then move to the table for work.  Work has been a challenge because both students have great difficulty sitting, and tending to a task.  My little boy would scream his head off because he didn't want to do work.  He would do everything he could to get out of it including throwing himself on the floor and pushing the furniture.  Using 1st, then; I could get him to work but it took a whole lot of time and effort to get a small amount of work and the experience was not pleasant for either of us; not to mention the other teachers on my hall :0|
      So I figured, there has to be a better way.  I decided to change from "Promethean to Work" to "Promethean to Table Toys" for the morning.  Once the Promethean part is over I'm still giving the verbal prompt and showing the picture of the table but instead of academic tasks, we're doing puzzles & pegs.  That way, the routine is still intact because after the presentation they move to the table and "do something."  Both students tolerate this well but they try to get up and leave maybe a minute into it.  I want them to be able to sit at the table and tend to a task for at least 5-10 minutes so today I pulled out the clock.  I was ambitious and set it for 10 minutes.  I can see that we're going to have to work up to it.

      

      Another thing I've been working on is determining their "Go To" activities.  After the ELA & Math presentations in the afternoon, I like to rotate to work one-on-one with each student.  While I work with one student, the other student does something independently.  This non-structured independent time is proving to be a challenge.  Neither of them came to me with a "Go To" activity. 
       By "Go To," I mean, something the student can do independently for about 10 minutes while I work with the other student.  Now that I've gotten to know them a little, it seems that my boy's, "Go To" activity is the computer.  He loves it.  It's also been a useful tool for 1st, then incentive to get him to do his work.
      For my girl it's the sand table.  I'm hoping to get each student up to 2-3 "Go To" activities.  Once they can work independently I will be sure that at least one of their "Go To" activities is work.  This will be imperative when I start doing pull-outs with the other children on my case load.  






      Well, that's it for now.  I'd love to hear your experiences, tips, tricks, and feedback.  Feel free to comment.  Don't forget to pick-up my Autism 101 Freebie if you haven't already!

Autism 101 is a weekly documentation of our2014-2015 school year. This is the 2nd installment.  Here are links to the 1st & 3rd installments:
Autism 101:  Reflections on the 1st Week of School
Autism 101: Easing Into Work (That's this one)
Autism 101: August Week 3

Scoop up the cute little math task that my boy is doing!  Click (HERE) :0)
   
      Thanks for stopping by!
Asia


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