Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Autism Awareness! My Story of Working with Kids who have Autism!

So I didn't exactly do the best planning today... I scheduled this as my guest blogger day at Extra Special Teaching, then realized it's also Autism Awareness day. As a SPED teacher who works with kids who have autism every single day, I can't NOT post my own little tidbits! So you get a double post from me today!

For the last 4 years I have taught children with autism. They have changed my world! I see things in a new way and I have a greater respect for parents of children with autism. Each day is a new challenge, but with it come small leaps that make us jump for joy. The first time a student said "I feel MAD!" instead of just screaming last week made me cry happy tears! While I never want my kids upset, it showed me I taught him how to express his feelings for the very first time!

My favorite thing about autism is the special ways these kids can think, explore, and create! Autism has its hardships, but it also has its GIFTS! I have had kids who are positively brilliant! I have one little guy (who I'm sure you've read about on this blog) who I lovingly call Genius Boy. They way he can observe, create, and learn things amazes me every single day. He's only in kindergarten but understands the basics of negative numbers and multiplication, reads at a 3rd/4th grade level with strong comprehension, and has boundless energy. His brilliance has pushed me as a teacher to do better! Even after 7 years, this kid has challenged me to become better in ways of teaching I've never approached before.

I have another student who doesn't talk much, or when he does he struggles to find the right words. It saddens me to see how much people underestimate him. He has SOOOO much going on inside his head, he just doesn't always show it. This kid can tell me if even ONE thing is out of place in my classroom. He reminds me about things I've forgotten to place on the schedule and keeps me on track. He doesn't have a fit if the plan changes, but he always knows what the plan is and helps me stick to it when I get busy and lose track of time. He lets me, and only me, touch him. Touch is hard for some kids with autism, so I know this means he sees me as a special person. He doesn't even let most of his friends touch him.

Working with these kids and many others over the years has taught me a lot. I've learned so much about teaching social skills and different strategies to help my kids succeed. Below are some links for free resources I've created. If you are interested in more social skills resources, browse my products in the TPT store. Also, feel free to email me with questions about working with kids who have autism!! teacherlisasclass@gmail.com

Related Posts:
Meeting Sensory Needs For Kids with Autism/Asperger's

Social Skills Cards and Behavior Management

Have you ever worked with a child who has autism? Share your story!


  1. Hey! Love your post. Would you consider linking up this post or products (paid or free) to the linky on my site? I'd love to have you participate!

    Autism Classroom News

    1. I'd love to! I'll head over to your page in just a little bit!

      The Lower Elementary Cottage

  2. I have had each of those students! One who would tell me if the smallest sign across the room is slanted and another who is working on using words to express his needs. The day I walked in from 3 days out, he said, "You're back, I missed you," tears came then I said, "I missed you, too!" Working with all students is always a unique experience but you are right, so many people underestimate the brilliance of their minds!
    Kindergarten Schmindergarten

    1. Such a sweet story Vanessa! My little guy who doesn't talk much randomly in the middle of class said "I love you Lisa." and kept on working. It felt extra special coming from him!

  3. I love this! This is year 3 of teaching students with autism and there isn't a day that goes by that they don't completely amaze me. I have a similar student to your "genius boy" that I could show him one time how to do a math skill and he immediately picks it up! He is in Kindergarten as well and I found out one day that he could tell time to the minute after he looked up at the clock and told me the EXACT time! Happy Autism Awareness Day :)
    My Special Learners


Super Comments Get Super Responses! I love chatting with my followers!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...