The primary goal in the classroom is to keep a child focused, attentive, learning and successfully working on task. This is accomplished by:
A multi-sensory approach to learning is key as kids process information in a variety of ways. This includes exploring how a child learns best through the following senses:
The use of visuals is of key importance as the brain can process pictures easier on left and right sides of the brain. Visual should be used as a picture schedule for the school day and the student should be positively reinforced while using it. This can be done by asking the student to tell you what is next on the schedule and promoting self-management skills by preparing themselves for the next class. It is important to incorporate the use of timers so that the child associates the visual and auditory input from it to ease the transition to the new activity.
It’s essential to incorporate visual charts for positive behavioral interventions for students to learn classroom rules and expectations. Children will work hard to earn a check mark, smiley faces or even a point to work towards a positive reward during the school day. Visuals can also be used as colorful tape on the floor to help reinforce physical boundaries or to promote the understanding of personal space with peer relations.
Sensory regulation is simply assessing how a child responds to information coming into the body through the senses and how it is interpreted by the brain as soothing/calming, alerting, or aversive. Sensory self-regulation is an important piece to every classroom. Sensory processing skills are evaluated around the basic five senses (hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell). Then the other two sensory systems are assessed as well: Proprioception (joint sense of motion) and Vestibular (movement with spinning whereby the head experiences different planes of motion). Many students require nervous system support to assist with remaining calm, attentive, and focused at school. Sensory breaks should be added to the visual schedule to include the type of calming or alerting activity that is recommended. There are a variety of ways to incorporate this concept into any classroom. Consider having the following activities included in the layout of your classroom:
Sensory Calming Activities
Sensory Alerting Activities
Electronic Learning Activities:
Learning concepts reinforced through electronic tablets, videos, pictures, games, and apps also work well for both sides of the brain. There are apps available to reinforce math, reading, writing, science, or social studies concepts. If a video is shared, try reviewing it with five or less simple concepts and reinforce the skills through multi-sensory learning activities. The lights, sounds and positive feedback during games/apps are alerting to the brain. This input appeals to both the left and right sides to process information.
A child’s brain thrives best when information is simple, structured and concise. It is best to have the classroom organized in a systematic way. Color codes for different subjects can also parallel to the same color label on a draw for supplies. This will allow for matching opportunities and association of the different learning concepts. Desk organizers and subject folders work well also. Promoting independence while the student moves through different activity areas/stations reinforces activity objectives and expectations for the student to meet daily.
The primary goal in the classroom is to keep a child focused, attentive, learning and successfully working on task. This is accomplished using these “10 Soaring Strategies - 4 Autism Classrooms”:
1. Multi-Sensory Learning
4. Electronic Learning Activities
6. Classroom Management
a. Posted visuals of class rules and expectations
b. Token economies
7. Picture Schedules
8. Positive Behavior Reinforcers
a. incorporating positive behavioral interventions
b. treasure chest rewards
9. Social Skills
a. Peer relations
b. Character cards
10. Emotions Identification Systems
a. Picture cards to identity happy, sad, mad