Humour CAN be present in the autistic classroom

29 Sep


Understanding humour is one thing people generally think is difficult if not impossible for autistic children. Well I have two that would challenge this thought.

Megan Stammers has been quite clearly dominating the news this week as she and her maths teacher Jeremy Forrest vanished, and were found a week later in France.

On the day this was front page news in the daily papers, I happened to buy one and bring it in to school for the children to read. It’s something I do semi regularly to promote their reading skills.

One student was reading the headline story and others were listening. One stated that the whole story was just wrong, and they were quite repulsed at the whole thought of it. Another was seeing it in a rather different light however. They asked why the school had not noticed the hand holding in the trip to the USA and asked why, if they already suspected the relationship, had that not been factored into the risk assessment for this trip. Quite perceptive for an autistic student who academically operates at P levels. They went on to suggest that perhaps Megan ran off to France because she wanted extra maths lessons, and maybe had a protractor as maths equipment in her bag when she left. They said this while laughing! Further in the story the student that was reading it stopped to proclaim this was all wrong when they got to the part where it says Jeremy had written Megan a song. The other student interjected here to suggest it was a song about maths!

I know it wasn’t meant to be a funny story but that illustrated to me on many many levels how many skills these students HAD acquired and how well they were actually doing on a social level.

They understood the gravity of the story and not only that it was wrong, but why it was wrong. This meant that they were able to on a whole new level, make jokes about the situations in the story, a very sophisticated skill that requires a deeper level of initial understanding.

Think there is no limits, and there won’t be any, but think there are, and you have limited them already.


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