Allen fell apart the second week of school, which is amazing because he wasn’t new to our school. But he started crying and raging when we moved our reading schedule back an hour in order to accommodate one of our teachers.
Yikes! We know better than doing that, but life isn’t always patted into a neat, tidy ball of regularity.
Keeping regularity in a student’s schedule can keep him from being afraid of the unknown.
Miss Isabel called Allen’s mom, and she talked him through it. The next day, he showed up with a smile on his face.
Rule one with kids on the spectrum – consistency is their key to success. We lost an entire day of learning for Allen because we didn’t properly prep him about the change. It wasn’t just the reading time change that threw him off. It was getting back to school after a summer break, some old students gone, some new students peppered into Allen’s stew of inconsistencies.
We need to prepare these kids for all the world can throw at them, but not in the fourth grade. Not in the second week of school. And not without warning.
Kids on the spectrum, and all kids as far as that goes, do well with regularity and consistency. They like to know what to expect and when to expect it. They don’t like surprises, sometimes even when they are fun surprises.
They crave routine. They look up at the schedule on the wall, and God forbid, don’t change that reading time. It’s too scary.
Yes, we all make mistakes and move reading times without warning, but the message today is to give these kids as much consistency as you can. The world is scary enough without having to worry about your reading schedule.
Which reminds me…we’re getting our first female student next week. We need to start prepping those boys right now on how their world is about to change. For the better, I am sure. Always the better.
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