For children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders the world, and especially the classroom can be a confusing place.  Part of the reason for this is that they may have an ‘internal clock’ that differs from the other children around them.  In the book ‘Simple Strategies that Work’ (AAOPC Press), Brenda Myles talks about ‘ASD Time’ as meaning “Twice as much time, half as much done”.  This is because these students often need more time to orientate themselves, process the information you have given and gather the relevant materials.

So, how can you modify things to ensure they are successful?

  • Reduce or eliminate handwriting:  Most of our ASD students have great difficulty with any extensive handwriting and, as a result they cannot do their best work when they are asked to write.  Dictation and keyboarding are helpful.  Please see the LS team for other ways to assess alternatively or provide alternative means of communicating their knowledge.
  • Avoid rushing: Feeling overwhelmed, freezing, panicking or having a meltdown could all be reactions to being rushed.  Using a ‘Time Timer’ or some other visual reminders and aids will help students to plan their time.  Be realistic about the age and stage of the child in your expectations for planning time.

* Adapted from Myles, Adreon & Gitlitz