It’s easy to see and understand the needs of people who have differences that we can observe – they might wear glasses, have a hearing aid, use a wheelchair or a stick.
An child with autism might have quite sophisticated language and be able to talk at length on a topic of particular interest to them but be unable to join in the simplest of classroom routines.
Many autistic children have particular interests and show strengths in these areas but have significant difficulties with much simpler tasks in other areas. Another child might be able to perform a task quite well one day and be unable to do it the next.
A non-verbal child is easily identified and we can provide them with a communication device, but even with a ‘voice’ nothing will change until we stop and listen.
Supporting individuals with neurological differences requires us to take a step back, to understand how their difference affects them and to stand in their shoes to find accommodations to enable them to be included, to learn and to be part of our classrooms and communities.
Learn more about autism and how it affects an individual that you support on our comprehensive evidence-based online course. www.tipsforautism.org.nz.