They're brilliant, particularly in math and the sciences. Regular ed teachers rarely understand this.
A classically autistic child has no way to communicate. They can be violent, and hate transitions. I remember sitting during lunch when my friend was introducing a new food to an autistic student for whom she was a 1:1 (meaning she was the person responsible for him while he was at school),. He screamed for weeks, and tried to climb under the table. Gradually, he stopped screaming and eventually tried the new food (in fact, it became his favorite food). EVERY NEW FOOD caused the same behavior. They also perseverate - for instance, one child was mesmerized by the electric meter. Unless stopped, he would spend all of recess staring at the meter. Another child would stare at the fan in our office. When his father made him leave, it triggered a bout of screaming. Autistic children at home often will watch the same DVD over and over and over and over.
The autistic child can also do hand flapping as a form of perservation, or bang their heads again the wall over and over and over again. You're lucky the woman at church didn't have a child who didn't do these things - any of these things - at church.
A couple of questions, since I've worked with them on a school bus:
1) I've noticed that when these kids attend school, it *must* be year-round. I'm figuring that this is because of the intensive therapy these kids need-and that too much of a vacation can create serious set-backs. Is this so?
2) Rhea talked about these kids needing to be paired with a teacher/teacher's aide as a 1:1. Now, again, is this due to their disability, so these kids can be made to focus and interact constantly, instead of persevating? Whenever they got off the bus in the mornings, each child was paired with an adult who came to pick them up from the bus.
So, Rhea-or anyone else-if you can answer these questions, that would be cool.
Edited by Rhea, 25 November 2011 - 09:21 PM.