Most Important Skills for Teachers of Students Diagnosed With Autism
As the number of students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder increases, teachers who will support them must continue to develop their skills. Doing so will ensure that they facilitate the most efficient learning environment where these individuals can thrive.
Related resource: Top 25 Master’s in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Online 2019
Before going into any of the technical abilities, it is crucial that every person working with students who have Autism carries a solid dose of empathy. These students are forced to face a lot of unique challenges as they venture into their academic pursuits. The first step towards helping them means that one has to be considerate enough to recognize their struggles. Empathy also accounts for emotional intelligence and self-awareness. For instance, details such as always calling Autism a “diagnosis,” not a disease, can make a tremendous difference. Absent proper compassion, teachers will not be able to relate to their pupils.
Educating a student that has been diagnosed with Autism requires a lot of patience. Since they view the world and some common ideas in a completely different light, learning seemingly simple concepts may be extremely troublesome. In fact, a lot of them are prone to avoiding notions that challenge their original perceptions. Some diagnoses also make it difficult for the student to follow along the lines of well-mannered communication. Teachers must understand that the Autism-affected students seldom, if ever, have the intention to disrespect or undermine their authority. They may simply not understand what types of responses are appropriate or inappropriate in certain scenarios.
Obviously, knowing exactly what Autism is would be the most essential skill that every teacher must develop. The reason why pertains to the fact that the research and data related to this disorder continue to evolve. Consequently, each professional is responsible for staying up-to-date. Not to mention that, according to the National Autism Association (N.A.A.), no two patients are the same. Hence why it is labeled as a “Spectrum” disorder. Given the wide range of symptoms, teachers must get educated on some of the best ways to approach and study scholars who have the diagnosis.
While constant attention is not something that works well with students who have been diagnosed with Autism, teachers must find a way to keep a close eye on them. The reason why is that these individuals often have troubles with conveying their issues. In fact, as per the N.A.A., 40 percent of the diagnosed children do not speak at all. Being able to recognize verbal signs and proactively monitor the student is vital. Some of the most successful teachers usually develop strategies that allow them to properly look over the student without unnecessarily interfering with their work.
In the end, if the educator lacks a very high level of curiosity, there is really no way for them to properly handle a student who has been diagnosed with Autism. Why? Because they will not have an incentive to do additional research, attend extra-curricular training, and try unique strategies. If they are able to maintain a questioning mindset that is completely devoid of any judgment, however, learning how to operate under these conditions could turn into an interesting challenge. Not to mention the incredibly rewarding benefit of being able to help a child who struggles with problems that most folks do not even comprehend.
Although acquiring all of these skills is definitely not easy, it will be mandatory. After all, if becoming a great teacher for students diagnosed with Autism was easy, people who fit that description would not be a scarce resource.