Special Educational Needs Teachers
Special educational needs teachers will be involved in the student’s behavioural, social, and academic development. They will need to assist them to develop emotionally and academically. Special needs teachers have to teach Autistic children to interact effectively in social situations, preparing students for daily life and if possible, prepare them for a job. Helping Autistic children to learn life skills is of cardinal importance!
Teachers that have extensive knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders must be employed to assist children with Autism sensory problems and behavioural difficulties as children living with Autism are emotionally vulnerable.
Teachers need to create a safe, supporting and stimulating environment that will enable each Autistic student to become the best that they can be. It is important that Autistic children experience success. Success will encourage them to leave their “own world” and encourage them to venture into our world. The special needs teacher and the family is responsible for the child’s development and growth. Making the student understand that you accept them just as they are will encourage them to join society.
It is important for special needs teachers to form small groups of pupils that is more or less at the same level and to prepare lessons and resources that the children can easily cope with. This means that the special needs teacher has to develop and adapt conventional teaching methods that will meet the individual need of every pupil in the small group.
Innovative special needs teachers will experiment with equipment such as computers and audio-visual materials to stimulate the children’s interest. Ideally parents and caregivers should be included in the above mentioned experiments.
Autistic children learn from experience; therefore learning outside the classroom is important. It is common knowledge that children with Autism Spectrum Disorders have a problem with imagination. To compensate for lack of imagination it is best if they can experience and see what they read about in the books and videos that they watch.
Example: A child with Aspergers Syndrome is shown a picture of a car. When the teacher takes him outside and shows him the real car in the driveway, the child does not recognise the car as the same car that he saw in the picture. This example proves that the special education teachers needs to be a special breed of educator; without understanding and accepting the Autistic child’s special needs, the teacher will not be able to teach or motivate the child.
Due to the fact that every child living with Autism has different symptoms, teachers have to develop individual educational programs and goals, appropriate to each child’s needs. Severely Autistic children can bite themselves, bang their heads, injure themselves, or refuse to eat, requiring special interventions. To ensure continuity special needs teachers have to work closely with the parents, informing them on a regular basis of the child’s progress. Teachers should inform and suggest techniques to promote learning outside of the school as well.
Helping children living with Autism, especially Asperger Syndrome can be challenging, yet highly rewarding. It can also be emotionally demanding and physically draining. It can take time for the student to understand concepts that cannot be seen, touched or experienced. Throughout the struggle to teach, the special needs teacher must positively focus on the child’s abilities rather than on the child’s limitations.
Autism teachers are teachers who love to help others. They have empathy with children and people who learn and behave differently and understand the struggle of those who understand, but find it difficult to translate their emotions and feelings into speech.