Stop and notice the small details

27 Sep

Sometimes we are so caught up in the whirlwind that is our lives, our jobs, that we fail to notice the very small details.

Teaching tends to be about progress, grades, paper trails but there’s more to special needs than that.

Today I was sitting in my room, door ajar, and the autistic students from the classroom next door were leaving to catch the school transport home for the day. As they go out the door, one boy says to another boy

so, how was your day?

A perfectly ordinary thing to say, but for ASC students, a very special moment that speaks volumes to us:

1)They understand the idea of small talk
2)They have noticed that this is what people say to each other at the end of each day
3)They are communicating with their peers in such a way that requires question and response, a more advanced skill than simply talking TO someone

I am sure you can think of many more things this little exchange illustrates.

My school was running a ‘be kind’ raffle where students were rewarded for simply being kind to someone unprompted. Isn’t it a shame that they stopped doing that?

Little skills like this demonstrate are so much more important to ASC students, so notice and praise when they show they are learning the valuable communication skills that we all take for granted.

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