How can I interact with a student who has Autism and has no awareness of the people around him?

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HowCanIInteractWithaStudentWithAutismWhoHasNoAwarenessofthePeopleAroundHimThink about how baby has little or no awareness of their own mind and certainly not that of another’s. To them, all is undifferentiated. The baby feels, “I am one with my caretaker and even my environment.” At this low level mind sharing, people with autism may not even interact with others at all. They usually have little or no speech or language understanding. They appear completely isolated, but seem content with this. They do not follow a point or share attention with another.

Some students with autism, regardless of their age, are at this level of development. Such a child, will be aloof and withdrawn to themselves. We may help this student by providing opportunities where they need to do something while tolerating the presence of another person. One way of doing this is by planning tasks where they have to share materials.

Music can be used as a way to help the child interact with the world around them. Playing notes on a keyboard, or a rhythm on a drum may interest them and motivate them to imitate. For a younger child you might use activities like Lego, or coloring with crayons. An older child can be encouraged to share a physical space with another child like a table, or a large swing.

While trying any social activities with a child at this level be careful not to push them too far. Keep a watch for signs of anxiety like an increase in repetitive or self stimulatory behavior. If a child is forced to interact with other children when they are not ready for it, the child may get scared and withdraw further.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some behavior management techniques like scolding a child, showing disapproval through facial expressions or isolating a child will not be effective.

Discuss here: What has been your experience while interacting with students with Autism?

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