Blog 71

Breaking Boundaries I:  10 Things Post-Secondary Educators Should Know When Working with Students with Autism

Raymond Peart, ASD Coordinator (Raymond Peart):  rpeart@yorku.ca

Below are 10 things to consider when working with students with ASD:

  1. Every student with autism is different – just as every other student without autism is different. Students with ASD tend to present somewhat differently.
  2. It might feel awkward interacting with students with ASD, and that makes sense as they engage socially in a different way from other students. You may experience apprehension but you should never disregard those feelings. Instead, address your questions or concerns with the student privately or in consult (depending on the situation) and move forward to support a positive relationship with your student(s), and not just those with an ASD
  3. Universal design goes a long way to support students. Not only do students with ASD benefit from such an approach, but students with or without disabilities, as well as instructors benefit too.
  4. Have a question, no matter how small, please ask. York University has a comprehensive program that supports students with ASD as they navigate the often-challenging university environment.  A large part of that environment is you.
  5. Everyone experiences stress and that stress can manifest itself in different ways. For students on the spectrum, these manifestations can appear more pronounced than other students
  6. Response and tone are important. Students with ASD are very adept in differentiating between tones during conversations and are often very sensitive to them.
  7. ASD largely impacts social communication, including the ability to register social cues and understanding rules of engagement, which can be difficult and amplified in a classroom where group work is a requirement Speaking explicitly to students when delivering instructions goes a long way.
  8. Environmental factors such as loud or distracting noises can amplify or trigger stress and/or anxiety
  9. Faculty do excellent work with all their students and can leverage Disability Services as a resource. Faculty should know they are not alone.   Problem solving to maintain academic integrity should be collaborative.
  10. Disability Services has a skilled academic skills coach to support students. If students need a resource to support them with managing and interpreting their classroom material, please refer them to us.

For more information on the Strengthening Transitions for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, please visit:

ASD Coordinator (Raymond Peart):  rpeart@yorku.ca

Online:  http://asd-initiative.yorku.ca/

Call:  416-736-5383

Location:  W128 Bennett Centre for Student Services and DB (Formerly TEL) 1017

 

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