Need help on teaching a child with autisim to write

United States
October 18, 2006 7:25pm CST
I'm a paraprofessional that is working 1:1 with an autistic child who is 12. I'm trying to find a way to get this child to write. It's like pulling teeth to get him to write two sentences (good sentences). His parents want him to write more, but he barely does that without crying episodes that take him about a half hour to get calm down and ready to work again. He gets a lot of mini breaks throughout the day. He always wants to start each sentence with "The". He gets agitated when trying to pull another word out of him to use. I usually have to give him a choice of two words. He trys to make a list or write a phrase instead. He'll do an assessment where he can apply the skills to locate a noun or a verb; when to capitalize (for example I or the beginning of a sentence) or punctuate, but when it comes to writing he forgets. I need to ask him whats missing or what makes a complete sentence for punctuation. I don't know what to do! Any suggestions?
4 responses
• United States
2 Nov 06
You need patience and understanding. Have you read the book - How to be a Para Pro? Also what about getting an OT to help since it could pincer grasp issues and also Assistive technology could get intelli keys in there with a special keyboard. Another option is Alpha Smart - where the student can type if they cannot write well. This can be added into the IEP and paid by school district. The teacher should be doing the curriculum. My site has many resources at: Good luck Bonnie Sayers
@sbeauty (5870)
• United States
19 Oct 06
Be patient and persistent. I taught an autistic child for 2 years. Tears were an integral part of the game, and I learned to ignore them. Be consistent and firm. Let him know what you expect and continue to guide his attention back to the task at hand if need be. Make sure you tell him when he's done something good, but don't overdo it by praising every little thing he does. Do NOT do too much for him or allow him to become overly dependent on you.
2 people like this
@claudia413 (4284)
• United States
19 Oct 06
I don't know the answer, but I am interested in this because I have a great-nephew with autism, and I'd like to pass some information on to her. Thanks for posting this subject.
1 person likes this
@happygal68 (3277)
• United States
24 Oct 06
I have never had to work with an autistic child, but from reading Sbeauty's response it sounds like she knows what she is talking about. Go with her advice. Hope it helps you out.