What Is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder generally referred to as ASD is a developmental disability which is usually caused by an abnormality in the brain of the child. An autistic child, i.e. a child with ASD, usually find it difficult to communicate or associate with the rest of his peers.
The fact that a child is suffering from autism doesn’t mean such a child should be deprived of their childhood. Medical experts usually advise against keeping them locked indoor. Nothing stops you from enrolling them into a school. However, this is where the actual problem lies.
You know your child well. You are also aware of his brain abnormality, but the child’s teacher may not be. This makes the relationship between an autistic child and their teacher a difficult one. In this article, we will be offering parents tips on how to handle a difficult relationship between an autistic child and their teacher.
Make the Teacher Aware
The main reason both the teacher and the autistic child are finding it hard to get along is probably because the teacher is not aware of the child’s condition. As the parent, try as much as possible to make the teacher aware of your child’s condition. Explain to the teacher that things will not work out well if the child is treated like the rest of the kids.
Reward good behavior
For a better relationship, ask the teacher to reward your child for doing something good, no matter how small. Encourage the teacher to praise your child when he or she learns a new skill or act appropriately. The teacher can reward the child by allowing him or her play with a favorite toy. Even when the child does something not so good, the teacher should not scold.
Make use of nonverbal cues
Nonverbal cues offer the teacher an incredible way to relate with the autistic child. As the parent, you can teach the teacher some nonverbal cues you use in communicating with your child at home. Make the teacher knows your child’s facial expressions, and gestures when he or she is hungry, tired, or in need of something. Once the teacher is able to understand it, you can always expect a smooth relationship.
There you have it! The above are a couple of tips for parents on how to handle a difficult relationship between an autistic child and their teacher. As a teacher, do not see an autistic child as a problem of disappointment, consider it as your duty to show them love, care, and affection.
L. Hughes-Page, M.Ed.
L. Hughes Page is a Field Supervisor to student teachers in the Graduate Department of Education at Gwynedd Mercy University.