Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Teacher Training in Autism Care Vital for Success

Here is a heartwarming story where the difficulties of high functioning autism were solved early enough in a child's life to enable her to make the best use of her education.  Seven year old Chloe Burton thrived in kindergarten but started to go downhill in first grade.   She wandered the classroom instead of performing work likely because the significant change in routine between kindergarten and first grade.  The problem was that Chloe's teachers at the time were not trained in handling autism so they disciplined her for not getting her work done.  They prevented her to go out for recess and insisted she use the time to get her work done.

The frustration Chloe felt is something that many people on the autism spectrum know all too well.  The discipline used by the teachers did not help the situation and instead nursed anger within the young girl.  She lashed out at teachers and other students.   The problem was not Chloe but the way the teachers were presenting their instructions.  Chloe's parents settled with the district and moved her to a different school where the teachers were trained to handle autism.  The difference is remarkable.

These new teachers knew how to break instructions down into steps so that Chloe could follow and understand every part of the process and she is thriving.  Positive reinforcement was used instead of punishment and extra time was given to complete assignments when needed. The situation would have been very different if Chloe's parents had followed the advice of the untrained teachers and placed Chloe in a unit alongside kids with behavioral problems.  That being said, training teachers in handling autism can really make all the difference in the lives of those on the spectrum.  Many children and families have gone through unnecessary grief that could have been resolved if the proper knowledge was applied.

For more information about this story, click here:

1 comment:

  1. We experienced a similar situation with our daughter. Though she was never disciplined for wandering around and not being able to follow directions, the other kids quickly labeled her as " the bad kid". She quickly became aware of the differences. We moved her to a different school that is trained in working with kids with asphergers and she is thriving. She loves school and feels so good about herself. She is also in 1 st grade. We are very glad we made the move.