Language, Autism, and Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips for Working with Students/Children on the Autism Spectrum:

  • Be aware of the difficulties your student may have processing language. Give extra wait time.
  • Do not assume your student understands or will pick up on body language or figurative language. Explain yourself and any figurative language.
  • Apply direct teaching methods (e.g. teach the student the meaning of idioms, one by one, literally–“Let’s hit the road” means “Let’s go”).
  • Tap into the student’s interests when teaching (e.g. teach math using Thomas the Train or write a sentence/paragraph about Thomas the Train, etc.).
  • Understand your student may need many different examples before generalizing a concept.

Monday Morning: Proverbs, Quotes, and More

The other day I was driving, and I saw a bumper sticker about adopting rescue dogs. It said something along the lines of, “Have a rescue dog? Who rescued who?” I had to laugh.

I got my dog Emma through the Weimaraner Rescue Society, and she has been nothing but a joy and comfort. She is always by my side in the office as I write; my faithful companion. (Isn’t she adorable?)

Okay, so how can I tie this to teaching?

As teachers, we are in a role of authority, and are always trying to help our students. But sometimes, our students help us. I have seen so many amazing examples of love, kindness, growth, and perseverance in my students. In those cases, I am the student.

It is important to recognize all the great qualities in our students/children, and share with them when you are impressed!


Research-Based Best Practices for Teaching Reading

When teaching reading, it is best to use a systematic approach that includes: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency in your instruction.

With regards to phonics in particular:

Systematic and explicit:

  • phonics instruction is more effective than non-systematic or no phonics instruction.
  • phonics instruction significantly improves children’s reading comprehension.
  • phonics instruction is effective for children from various social and economic levels.
  • phonics instruction is particularly beneficial for children who are having difficulty learning to read and who are at risk for developing future reading problems. (italics mine)
  • phonics instruction is most effective when introduced early.”

(Taken from: )