The autistic writing room

3 Feb

For a child with autism it depends what you want them to write, as to what kind of writing room is best.

TEACCH booth

Of course, for an autistic child, fact is much better than fiction. Ask them to write about something they know and have seen, easy. All they need for that is a booth like this one, to minimise distractions while they work, and a set of specific instructions to structure the work.

Ask them to write about fiction, and that is a whole new problem.

Lets take Dracula for example. Ask an autistic child to read, study and write about Dracula and you would need to be very careful about how it is approached. I know that this is one of the books the English department study at the moment. One of our students who has now left really enjoyed it but to the point where she struggled to separate fantasy and reality. Se began to believe she WAS a vampire.

On the contrast, the student may struggle to understand a fantasy concept, simply unable to grasp the idea of make-believe. The English teacher often uses lots of props, I see her daily carrying in her bag of goodies to the classroom, to support her teaching. Perfect.

What’s the perfect writing room for an autistic child? In essence, the booth shown above, but in supportive writing, the TEACCH classroom every time.


4 Responses to “The autistic writing room”

  1. nikki February 4, 2013 at 00:56 #

    my son is a supreme reader but hates writing, so I try encourage it WHENEVER at home.His desk gets forever cluttered with special things and craft, so he often ends up at the kitchen table. I think when he will have homework on a regular basis (he just started grade2) I will need to set something up with more space and less stuff to help him focus..

  2. angloswiss February 4, 2013 at 07:34 #

    My autistic son, aged 44, does not write so much. He used to but he has a full time job as a metal worker,He would cover the pages with sentences in his neat small handwriting. He also does not have so much time. He likes to read, but only that what interests him. He searches through the daily newspaper regularly and if he finds a subject that appeals (he just loves certain bands in the pop world and the local musicians) and then he reads it. I has a desk in his room and a comfortable chair where he often reads. I don’t really have to show him the way, at the age of 44 he has become quite independent,

  3. An Embarrassment of Freedom February 11, 2013 at 17:25 #

    Wonderful place to write, or read or draw…my experience teaching very young children on the autism spectrum was to keep them close to me and engaged with group activities by doing something with me ( holding my marker at chart time, letting them mark words with lines, boxes, circles etc…then….letting them go off to do their own thing and play….but then spend ( consistent but brief time at my teacher table and engage with them personally doing whatever was needed at the time…drawing, printing, talking, reading, singing, counting, building….I miss them now that I’ve retired…Autistic children teach you how to teach.


  1. Write On! – A Daily Prompt Post | Edward Hotspur - February 5, 2013

    […] The autistic writing room « Being Special […]

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