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Help Teaching children with "autism"

Discussion in 'Staffroom' started by bahn_farang, 11 Aug 2016.

  1. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Hello folks,

    I am teaching a class in which there is an "autistic boy". I, to tell you the truth, feel totally out of my depth. I have had no experience working with special needs before and would like some advice or further reading.

    I would greatly appreciate any help on this. Today after more than a few years of teaching realised I have a pressing development need!

    Cheers guys
     
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  2. Mati

    Mati Well-Known Member

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    Start off by protecting him from unnecessary reprimands and punishment by other teachers. Use whatever abilities he shows to assist you in class. If he can recite something off by heart let him help the others, eg ABC pointer...
     
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  3. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    How old is the kid?

    P.S. I had many autistic students in my time here and they can really every dangerous.

    An Aussie who didn't believe me almost got hit with a heavy wooden chair and that would have been a bloody mess.

    The grade 5 boy was really very difficult to handle and especially when the other kids made some nasty jokes about him, it was time to take him out.

    I had a very hard time just to hold this 11 year old boy, as he developed a lot of power. They're usually on medication, the most dangerous time is when they forgot to take their meds, or took them too late.

    The boy would have killed somebody with a knife, there's no doubt about it.

    As Mati already wrote, please give him some "extra attention" and make sure that all Thai teachers nearby are aware what's wrong with him.
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2016
  4. professeur

    professeur Well-Known Member

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    I've had a couple of them over the past years. Luckily I work at a school with small classes which seems well fitted for special needs kids such as these. Mostly they function rather well though their behavior can cause distraction. One kid had the tendency to walk around humming and flapping his arms. He was a proper Rainman though blessed with a
    photographic memory. We even contemplated teaching him how to count cards and taking him to a casino across into Cambodia. He turned out to be a brilliant student.

    Others were less brilliant but every single one functioned normally in class. They only thing they consistently appear to lack is the ability to work in a group. During group work they mostly appear lost or even upset. They also generally function best when given clear instructions and targets; autonomy and self-directed learning seems to cause confusion and uncertainty.
     
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  5. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Well-Known Member

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    That is one of the repetitive behaviors that indicate autism. In China, they put the kids with problems back into earlier classes, and so they tend to be much bigger than the others. They also tend to be slovenly, from what I have seen. I had one autistic kid during the past semester (which ended today). He was not picked on because he was bigger than the others. My strategy, which seemed to have worked, was to treat him the same as the others. I always involved him, but it is true that he always got easier questions. He liked to participate as long as no one else was involved (answer my questions), but it was usually by shouting. He finally stopped shouting by the end of the term.
     
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2016
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  6. Mati

    Mati Well-Known Member

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    I only had experience with Anuban kids for three years at the same school. Any student with learning or behaviour problems were called hyperactive and tended to be kept away from group activities. Now I have students from Nursery stage to Matayom and am more able to guide them in the group activities. Almost every class has one Super Student. They seem to anticipate my needs and would keep my koki pen in their pocket at the ready :) run to fetch paper, etc. they would decline the opportunity to do a project but with all the encouragement they get by following me and being my righthand, playful atmosphere in classroom ... They mostly change their minds to follow through and feeling very proud to also finish their work. The other students do not feel left out because I tend to focus on each one approaching me. Haphazard works for me and keeps them interested and enthusiastic. Meanwhile I'm talking and repeating phrases quite forgetting that the teachers have left the classroom. It doesn't bother me anymore.
     
  7. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for all your replies much to think about. It was rather about providing him with suitable and supportive education than about my own personal safety so thank you for the constructive posts
     
  8. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Dear OP, please have a look at attached file, even when it's not specifically about Thai children, you might find some useful information.

    In my opinion and 12 years of teaching in Thailand there's no difference made between a child being autistic, or a child with another mental disorder.

    You'll understand my point once you've read the European info material. I think they just call all kids autistic who're not "normal" and I guess we all know the quality of the educational system. Many special needs teachers should be employed, but it's again a loss of face if the real number of autistic kids would exist.

    Who's finally making the decision if a kid is autistic? An ordinary doctor at a government hospital, maybe a orthopedist?

    And children with autism should also have a special education by their parents.

    Be happy that you've only got one, in one of my EP classes are at least five out of 27 who show all signs of autism, but nobody seems to see it.
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Well-Known Member

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    This is an important topic. I am a teacher, but I don't have a teaching license from my home country. If I had a teaching license from the States, then I would be informed about autism and I would be on the look out and ready to deal with an autistic student.

    So it is quite possible to screw up if one does not have comprehensive pedagogical training. No problem. I can get informed, and I can ask the teachers around me what to do.

    Like everyone else, I have students who are a problem. Thank goodness I did not punish the autistic kid for causing disruption.

    In China, the way to scare the daylight out of a kid is for the teacher to say, "Do I need to talk to your mom and dad?" That one straightens spines and folds hands properly on the tops of desks--because Mr. and Mrs. Wu will knock the Scheisse out of little Wei Wei once it is discovered that their child is headed towards poor academic performance and a low income for life.

    For me, violence in the classroom is unacceptable, and that is one of the reasons I am not making an effort to teach in the States. I hope the day does not come when I have to dee khao or dee saw a student (pardon my Thai).
     
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  10. Clown

    Clown Well-Known Member

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    Had a similar case. Sometimes, he was totally introvert and words wouldn't reach him. Mates wanted to punch him as he was following his "inner drummer".

    Not sure if the rich parents knew how bad he was? Incidentally, he started calling me and has been more lucid than ever. Making me wonder if he has been getting professional help?

    He keeps calling many times on FB Messenger. Hate to brush off someone wanting to speak, so we have short conversations.

    Another boy in a gifted M1 class would hand in b l a n k papers. Never found out what's wrong with him? The HoD handled it and as he could pay, he remained in the gifted class... TiT
     
  11. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    There's never something wrong with teachers'; kids. And of course some other wannabee's kids.
     

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