I’ve been discussing teacher and the inclusion aide that is often assigned to an autistic student within an “inclusion” environment, which means a typical, general education classroom that may or may not have one or two special needs children. (You can read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 here.)
Sometimes these students belong to “Special Day Classes” and they only visit a general education class for specific instructions, and sometimes the students are a permanent part of that class.
With these blogs, I am trying to help and discuss the relationship between a teacher and an aide that is in his/her classroom and assigned to help only one child.
What else could help me understand an inclusion aide?
My personal feelings are that all teachers should attend an autism course/seminar. The number of autistic students is not dwindling but rather growing. The odds are it is now more likely that a teacher will – someday – have an autistic student in their classroom, and an inclusion aide may very well come with that student.
To my delight, I have known principals who have sent their staff to conferences. I know my son’s principal had his aide attend one. Plus, I have known teachers who have volunteered to go on their own time.
What else can help a teacher?
Be flexible. If chewing gum in your classroom is a no-no, you may have to waive that policy because many autistic kids have oral issues and chewing gun helps them sit in their chair, and thus helps them focus in class. You want them there. You don’t want the aide to have to remove them five times a day.
So, what’s wrong with a little gum chewing? Please communicate with the school, the aide, and the parents.
We had a teacher once that disliked the sound of empty or near empty water bottles being “crunched.” The sound bothered her concentration. She mentioned it to us because our son was chiefly responsible for the noise.
What did I do? I provided my son with a hard water bottle, one that would not make a noise when “crunched.”
The teacher communicated with us, and I demonstrated that I am willing to help her out in any way I can. It was a small thing, but it helped her teach.
In my next blog, you guessed it, I will once more discuss teachers and the inclusion aide. It’s an important topic!
But, don’t forget…
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