Sometimes, the best way to teach a special needs child is just let them be special. Marilyn Englander has this Perspective.
When I began teaching in the 80s, we didn’t understand much about children on the autism spectrum. A student would appear on my roster. Off we’d go for the year.
Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t know all about the autism spectrum. Instead, I puzzled out each child as an individual. Imperceptibly, these students became my favorites. I loved their direct approach to the world. They didn’t invent excuses or connive. What you saw was what you got.
For example, Sean, even at 13, asked permission to swing on the playground every morning so he could focus in class. James needed to quietly shred scrap paper at his desk so he could listen attentively. Liz had to kiss her papers before handing them in.
These students taught me about simply looking at the facts, dropping my assumptions.