Thank an educator today and every day. This week, May 8 – 12, is Teacher Appreciation Week. General Education and Special Education educators spend years becoming qualified and certified to teach your child. Parents are the child’s first and foremost teacher and professional educators welcome your support.
Here are some of the ‘Soft Skills’ teachers work on, daily with autistic students –
- Communication. Since social communication is often a ‘core’ symptom of autism, it is so important that each child has his or her best form of communication. Is your child’s keyboarding, storyboarding, or an alternative and/or facilitated form?
- Self-motivation. Many students with autism spend hours trapped in their own world of motivation and/or interest. Knowing their special interests helps teachers use that as a ‘hook’ to lead the learning process. What is your child’s ‘hook’?
- Leadership to lead and inspire others. Because our students may seem to ‘wander’ as opposed to ‘lead’, teaching this skill requires a great deal of creativity and ingenuity. Discovering the student’s preferences, when working in a small group, may be the answer. Do they like to specify, clarify, verify, or document? Assign a task with which they can both excel and lead.
- Responsibility. This requires productivity and success. The autistic world mostly consists of living in the ‘here and now’, not in the ‘future’. It also requires choosing ‘priorities’, putting things in ‘perspective’, and understanding ‘consequences’. How can you help your child with these concepts?
- Time Management. The student with autism is often fighting to stay in a routine. This can be an advantage when managing time. But, the concept of ‘time’ is difficult because this person does not embrace change, nor understand the ‘intervals’ of time. Will visual schedules help your child with this?
Asking for ways to support these efforts will be greatly appreciated. And, always welcomed is a simple ‘Thank You’ for all that you do.