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working with autistic children

Posted by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 5:29 PM
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Hi I am Carrie Adkins. I am a teacher in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I have currently been assigned to work with a child that is autistic. I have worked with several autistic children before, but never with a child like this. This child is non verbal and shows no emotion. I would like some input on how to help a child like this. Would it be better to work with pictures than words to help the child? Is there any advice that someone could give me for working with a nonverbal autistic child?

Carrie Adkins

by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 5:29 PM
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by Member on Jan. 21, 2009 at 11:16 PM

My son is 16 and mostly non-verbal.  The words he uses is mostly to name certain items  (foods) when desired.  We use pictures in our home for Kevin to communicate with.  We do encourage the verbalization as well.  I use real pictures not pecs.  Kevin does better with actual pictures.  I take my camera everywhere so I can capture all I can during Kevin's trips in our community.  I use a monthly calendar for Kevin to understand what is scheduled (school,recreation, or home).  We use a daily schedule with at list 7 items available for Kevin to place his pictures on the Velcro.  Kevin will organize his schedule at bedtime for the next day, he will place for example on a school day, pictures of 1. brush teeth, 2. get dressed, 3. shoes, 4. bus, 5 school, 6. home, 7. Therapists picture (when scheduled). 

I can go on forever, I'm sure you understand what we do.  So the answer to your question, I feel pictures will be the best form of communication at this time for your student.  It will allow your student a form of communication and also alleviate his anxiety of not being able to communicate.

Hope this helps, good luck.



jigsaw ribbon


by on Jan. 22, 2009 at 10:51 AM

Mine has learned to be a whiner.  I am ditching therapy because of all the bad habits they've taught by responding to her whines and reinforcing bad behavior in their efforts to get her to follow "their agenda".  I also have not been able to follow thru on any potty training except during school breaks because "their agenda" would be disrupted by the process.  EXCUSE ME??  And this is with a child who receives services IN THE HOME!  What would she be learning if I had sent her to program??

While she was still in Early Intervention (she's preschool now) I did take her to a Toddler Group once a week.  This particular one was the only one in the area that would allow me to stay and observe (odd they won't let you stay...).  Anyway, I saw first hand the girl who'd run in and start hitting Courtney -just because, and the speech therapist who was teaching them to yell at each other (rudely and meanly, not just being loud) words like, "MOVE!", when they played on the slide.  Then came the day she taught them to push each other while yelling move.  The Spec. Ed. teacher in the room had her 4 year old daughter attend if she didn't want to go to her school, had a day off, etc., and she hogged her mom the whole time.  A typical only child with type I diabetes so mom caved in - and all I can say is thank God I was there to help "cover" on those days - WHAT??? 

We will have had 3 years total by September and we are so done with therapists!

I did not even mention the lateness, no shows, switching and cancellations, I say NO to makeups (we have friends, too) and they keep pushing, they rearrange my house, never put toys back, rip thru packaging I was saving nice to re-store toys - do I need to go on??  I CAN!

Icing - they now want to put my 4 year old in Kindergarten THIS year.  She turns 5 in November.  I know she CAN go but a year delayed child??  DUH, why not give her that extra year?  To me it's another year of preschool.  I will be cancelling therapies, ripping up her IEP, and will homeschool.


by Member on Jan. 22, 2009 at 12:02 PM

 If you click on my pict you will be sent to my page.

First maybe,

Dan Marino tv...there are FREE confrence/visul training /resources there.

There are MANY other links we have found...think of it as a will need to look through it to chhose what may apply to you and your situation.

If you could get a group together, maybe you could share the cost of  viewing  conferences from AUTISM TODAY website...they also have audio coipes too,you could listen to in the car.

There are  free radio stations also dedicated to autism, on the net, some are downloadable.

You will find what you need...the info seeems is putting it into practice that can be a challange! Good luck!




by New Member on May. 22, 2011 at 1:21 AM

There are a couple of things that you could do. You could try to implement a pecs system with the child.  And what do you mean by nonverbal?  Do you mean just doesn't use words or doesn't use words or make sounds at all?  If the child atleast makes sounds you could also try to teach manding.  While it may not produce words at first, it could get the child to atleast acknowledge that they want the object and you could then try to eventually shape the sounds  into partial words and then eventually single words.  You would also want to start to require the child to look at the object that they are requesting once you get them to start making sounds for the objects.  That way they will know that they need to look at the object while making the sound/word. Hope this helps.

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