Dealing with an autistic child can be an extremely daunting task. This is especially considering their slightly “unbecoming’ behaviour that could cause disruption especially in the classroom. This was essentially the case at a time when an autistic child had a kick-off and started disrupting the entire class. This behaviour may have emanated from his need to release some energy before settling down, or even his failure to understand the expectations in the class, as well as what he was supposed to do next. The act of walking around the classroom was, in this case, an attempt at calming himself (Peck & Scarpati, 2011, pp. 34). However, controlling the situation is difficult especially considering that it was not immediately obvious why the boy acted in that manner. The limited verbal communication made the kid incapable of expressing his feelings of discomfort, anxiety or frustration except through outbursts of unbecoming behaviour (Hannah, 2001, pp. 45). Needless to say, the result of the disruption depended on the reaction of the teacher and me as the teaching assistant.
In dealing with the undesirable behaviours, it was imperative that each behaviour is tackled at its own time rather than rectifying all behaviours at once. First, the teacher had to slow down his movements and speech while talking, as well as use a soft voice so as to calm the autistic child. This was aimed at slowing down the physical disruptions pertaining to kicking off or moving around the classroom (Buron et al, 2008, pp. 56). While holding the child may trigger more violent reactions from him, I pushed down heavily on his shoulders using equal, as well as constant pressure. The constant nature of this pressure allowed the child to calm down (Buron et al, 2008, pp. 56). Needless to say, the child did not calm instantaneously, in which case it was imperative that I desist from rushing the child or rather be extremely patient with him. This was aimed at reducing the verbal outbursts. It is only after the child has calmed down both verbally and physically that it would be possible to model behaviour through socialisation.
Hannah, L. (2001). Teaching young children with autistic spectrum disorders to learn: a practical guide for parents and staff in general education classrooms and preschools. London, National Autistic Society.
Peck, A. F., & Scarpati, S. 2011. Classroom instruction and students with autism spectrum disorders: a collection of articles from Teaching Exceptional Children. Arlington, Va, Council for Exceptional Children.
Buron, K. D., Wolfberg, P. J., & Gray, C. 2008. Learners on the autism spectrum: preparing highly qualified educators. Shawnee Mission, Kan, Autism Asperger Pub. Co.