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High School Shadowing

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1 High School Shadowing on Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:18 pm

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I shadowed a special education teacher that works with an autistic boy one on one and wanted to share my experience so as to help those with older siblings.

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2 Rewards on Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:52 pm

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In the section about my sister I mention rewards. For the boy that I worked with at the high school, he also had things that calmed him and kept him focused. For immediate calming, he carries pictures of youtube clips that he can flip through. This relates to one of his rewards later in the day, which is watching youtube. Throughout the day he reminds himself by saying "youtube later" to either keep himself from doing something bad or to pat himself on the back for doing something well. Usually he looks for a response from his teacher to reassure himself that he really will get youtube later, but sometimes he just says it to himself. This boy is much lower functioning than my sister who only has mild autism, but he too uses this immediate and long term rewards. My sister thinks about what she will do this weekend or looks forward to events that my not even happen until the next month. This boy, who I worked with on a Tuesday, kept reminding himself and us that he would get a "deli cookie friday." He would repeat this phrase as well in order to get him through jobs that he didn't like, such as cleaning tables. Although we may not do this outloud, we certainly try to think about what we will treat ourselves to or what positive thing is coming out of a job that we don't like or a situation we have to get through. We all have our calming techniques, even if they are different from autistic people's.

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3 Following directions on Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:52 pm

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The boy I worked with has Autism and, surprisingly, is very good at following directions most of the time. Sometimes he needs to be told more than once, but he always does what he is told eventually. I remember from casually observing him a few years ago when my mom worked with him that he was not like that at all. He would shout out movie lines or songs and block out everyone around him. It is amazing to see the progress he has made. One thing I did notice, which is a common symptom of autism, was that he could not do more than one thing at a time. When his teacher told him to throw away his napkin and put his cup in the sink, he would get up (after the teacher put the things in his hand) and just throw away the napkin and come back with the cup. Then he was told to put the cup in the sink and start washing tables when he came back. He put his cup away and came back and sat down. He consistently could only do the first thing he was told. My sister, who is higher functioning, just got over this hurdle a few years ago.

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