One in four boys and one in six girls is currently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. That said, a lot of child care centers are not equipped to handle the unique needs of children with ASD. That is, all teachers in child care centers are trained to handle and help children with autism, but centers that are integrated for special needs or start out as centers for neurotypical children are not fully able, for licensing reasons, to change everything to accommodate children with autism. Therefore, if you want to open a child care center for kids with autism, here is what you need to do.
Soundproof the Walls
Many children with autism have sensory-defensive issues. They have trouble filtering out loud noises from the street as well as the steady hum of fluorescent lighting in a building. As for other children with autism who experience meltdowns, those meltdowns can be heard through standard walls in a child care center.
Therefore, if you soundproof the walls, you result in
It is important to help maintain quiet, comforting spaces for children with autism. Soundproofing does just that.
Less Visual Stimulation
In a traditional child care room, teachers go overboard with decorations to give kids lots to see, investigate, and create meaningful curiosity in their learning spaces. To a child with autism, this is way too much visual stimulation. In a neurotypical classroom, autistic kids cannot filter any of this out. They quickly become overwhelmed and overstimulated, and they can either melt down or exhibit behavioral issues in response to the excess stimuli. As you set up classrooms for these special needs children, keep classroom decorations to a minimum. A class calendar, an announcement board, cubby labels, and one or two other simple wall decorations is enough.
Consistent Schedules and Routines
Children with autism are very rigid in their routines. Deviating from expected schedules turns their worlds upside down, and they panic or melt down because things are not going according to plan. You may even know an adult or two who reacts this way to schedule changes. The difference is that children with autism have trouble coping with change. As such, every room should have a schedule posted and stick to the planned schedule.
For more information on resources for autistic children, organizations like Learning Tree Schools can help you get started.Share
21 August 2018
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