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A Guide for Early Learning Providers:

Teaching Children with Autism

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Students in a classroom have different backgrounds, interests and needs. Teaching and supporting children with autism in your classroom is an example of one of those differences.

Children with autism have strengths in processing information visually and thinking spatially. Using visual supports is one way to cater to your student’s strengths. Visual supports are cues that communicate visually and can come in the form of pictures, gestures and text.

Here are a few ways to incorporate visual support in your classroom.

  • Mark where to sit or stand

    Place markers on the floor to show where to stand when lining up or identify seats at a table. These visual cues could be done with tape or cartoon images with names to direct children.

  • Illustrate the class schedule

    Use picture-based illustrations to display the daily schedule. Providing a picture for each activity and lining them up in a vertical manner makes it easier for children with autism to know what’s happening during the day.

  • Provide an appropriate physical environment

    Children who are hypersensitive or hypersensitive can go into sensory overload. Use calming textures and mild natural scents in the classroom, and keep noise level in mind. If possible, have a quiet place for children with autism to go if the noise level in the classroom becomes too loud.

Resources for Educators and Families

INDIANA RESOURCE CENTER FOR AUTISM

The Indiana Resource Center for Autism is great for individuals on the spectrum and their families. While they are a research-based organization in Bloomington, their work helps all Hoosier families through early detection and diagnosis programs and by connecting families to resources. Additionally, their website has a long list of high-quality early childhood and school-age programs that utilize evidence-based practices, family support and other activities for improving quality of life.

AUTISM EVANSVILLE

Autism Evansville supports families in Southwestern Indiana by cultivating relationships, promoting acceptance and inclusion and above all providing meaningful experiences.

AUTISM SOCIETY OF INDIANA (ASI)

This organization works to empower and support individuals on the autism spectrum and every family affected by autism in the state of Indiana with high-quality services. To reach a coordinator in your area call 800-609-8449 or visit their website: http://www.autismsocietyofindiana.org/our-staff/. Also, check the website for other programs they offer to support families and individuals on the autism spectrum.

HANDS IN AUTISM® 

HANDS in Autism® is a state-wide training and resource center that works to build local capacity to help individuals with autism and their families find ways to address their concerns and thrive in their communities. HANDS works closely with individuals and families and consults statewide with community schools, homes, treatment facilities and other settings integrated with medical professionals.

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For a complete list of parent support groups in Indiana:

Click Here

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