How to build a safe environment for Autistic Children at School?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopment disorder that is characterized by impairments in communication, social interaction, and responsiveness, resulting in social withdrawal.

The symptoms of ASD typically appear before the age of three and can last the rest of a person’s life, however, occasionally they get better as they get older. Each autistic child is likely to display a distinctive behavioral pattern since autism spectrum disorders range in severity from low functioning to high functioning. Poor psychosocial development, including having trouble understanding others’ emotions, becoming distressed by sudden changes or strange surroundings, etc., is a sign of this. Other symptoms include developmental delays, poor eye contact, restricted and repetitive behaviors, poor name-call response, etc.

Children with ASD might act, engage, communicate, and learn in ways that are different from those of most other kids. ASD children may be gifted in a variety of ways. For instance, some ASD patients may be nonverbal, whilst others may be highly conversant. While some ASD kids need a lot of daily help, others are able to work and function independently. As a result, each child should receive individualized care or assistance. When creating a safe atmosphere, it’s also important to take the child’s mental health into account. Children with autism can have good mental health, just like anyone else. But, according to recent studies, some autistic children also experience attention deficit disorder, anxiety, and despair as they try to integrate into society.

It takes a lot more consideration to provide a secure environment for autistic students at school. Since these children are sensitive to stimuli like bright lights, colors, loud noises, etc., it might be overwhelming to them; the first piece of advice is to create a tranquil environment. Keep distractions to a minimum and just keep what the child needs to learn in the room. Your child may feel more relaxed and at ease with fewer furnishings and natural light. Given that some autistic children are more inclined to ingest non-edible substances, you must keep potentially hazardous items out of reach. For instance, you should keep knives and scissors out of your child’s reach and cover electrical outlets with child-proof covers.

A designated “quiet zone” may serve as a location for the youngster to rest and recover when they are over stimulated. By creating a space where they can take a sensory break, you can ease the stress they are experiencing. Consider creating a tranquil environment with soft furnishings and low lighting. Moreover, you can put some of their comforting favourites, such toys and blankets, in their own space. Creating a routine with them is the next stage. The autistic child’s worry and stress can be reduced by making a visual schedule and outlining the activities and transitions. Since they don’t grasp metaphors and jokes, it’s crucial to communicate with them properly. Keep it short and to the point. Integrating their interest can make a huge difference in engaging the autistic child is in these learning activities.

These strategies can be helpful in creating a safe environment for an autistic child  at school. However, to effectively meet the unique needs of an autistic child, modify the techniques as necessary.