Autism is a condition that is greatly misunderstood. As an educator, I learned very little about it while in school. Most of what I’ve learned has been from talking to parents and attending presentations at my local University. I’d like to think that is because I started teaching long before autism was as well known as it is now, but sadly it is my understanding from new teachers that their classes don’t focus much on educating those who might need us the most.
I also think back to the first time I had a student in my class who was labeled as “Autistic.” Alex (not his real name) was funny, quirky, gifted and yes, autistic. I realized I was lacking in knowledge, luckily his mom was not so she educated me. I learned more from this one young man about life than in the multitude of forced professional learning on the subject of autism.
I decided I needed to know more about this thing called Autism. How can I best serve the needs of this one child, and those to come later? I’m far from being an expert, but I have a few resources that I’ve found helpful.
I feel fortunate to have had Alex and his mom teach me more about autism. A subject so vastly misunderstood, yet so important to our children.
I know there are many of you who read my blog who are probably experts. What resources have you used to learn more about how to best serve our students who are autistic? Please leave any resources in the comments to help us all learn together.