Geez, Julie, you're a saint for putting up with this situation. What
were They thinking when they scheduled this? To dump eight autistic
kids of different grades in one class of Ks sounds insane. Actually, it
sounds like their teacher just needed a break. I'm a big believer in
mainstreaming when it's done right, but this doesn't sound like anyone
benefits (except maybe the autistic kids' teacher). And then for her to
dictate to you where they should sit....sheesh.
Okay, off my soapbox...the big thing with a lot of autistic kids is that
they do well with set routines. As long as they don't have to deviate
from their routine, they can handle all sorts of chores. If possible,
have the paras teach a couple or three of the higher-functioning
students a specific routine for cleaning up. Say, one student picks up
all of the crayons, puts them in a box, and puts the box in a specific
place. Another picks up all of something else, and so on. Have the
para follow the student and coach him/her for as long as needed until
they learn the routine. Don't even think about having them switch jobs
once they're trained.
Some autistics are very touch-sensitive. Certain textures, and
necessarily the ones you might think of, are unbearable to them for some
reason (each kid responds differently). Be aware of that if someone
really balks or gets upset with certain materials. It doesn't have to
be something messy like clay; it could be the waxy crayon or dirty
paint water or sticky glue bottle.
These suggestions are VERY general. Autistic students always amaze and
at times confound me with their abilities and preferences.
Julie Jacobusse wrote:
> Hey all! I need your input. I have a Kindergaden class of 18 that
> has been scheduled along with an autistic class of 8 all together for
> 40 minutes.