Fall classroom placement is an important decision for all teachers. Which classroom a child is placed in for the next grade will have a significant impact on academic performance, behavior and overall school enjoyment. Although children with mild forms of autism or Asperger’s syndrome find themselves in the regular classroom for all or most of the school year, these children need special attention from teachers during the placement process.
Kids with Asperger’s syndrome perform at their best in a classroom environment that is both organized and orderly. Special consideration should be given to the child’s sensory sensitivities, as well as the personalities of the children around him. Kids with autism should also be given a solid and supportive classroom environment with a teacher who is both trained and sympathetic in order to ease the transitions from one year to the next.
Classroom Placement Tips – Choose the Right Teacher
Teachers who have an interest in or some experience with special education, or who have chosen to pursue professional and continued development in the field of autism are the best possible choices for placement of students with autism. If there are no teachers in the next grade that have training in a special education field, there are other talents and traits to look for.
An effective teacher for a student with autism will have a calm personality, and a proven track record of creative classroom management skills, including those that encourage friendship, tolerance and respect. It is also important to choose a teacher that can work well with parents.
Fall Student Placement – Choose the Right Classroom Environment
Children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome will thrive more readily in a structured classroom environment. That being said, if a classroom is set up in a manner that is chaotic, with an overwhelming amount of clashing colors, disorganized wall hangings, clutter and noise, a child with autism will be immediately uncomfortable.
Choose a classroom that is located in a quieter part of the school building if possible. Also, look for effective classroom design including well-displayed classroom rules, labeled bins for supplies, and a time out or peaceful location for children who need it.
Student Placement of Child With Autism – Choose the Right Friends
Although trying to place a student with her best friends may not always work out, special effort must be taken to insure that a child with Asperger’s is placed with at least one ally. Good allies for a child with autism or AS would be caring, devoted, kind-hearted and sociable with others in a positive way. A teacher who has had her students throughout the school year will know which children work well with the individual with autism.
Teachers may want to interview the child with autism as well as all other students, to find out whom they would like to be placed with. It is possible that no student will ask to be placed with the child with AS—an unfortunate reality of this disorder. However, through observation and good listening skills, teachers will most likely know which children will be willing to buddy up with the student.