Whether you're a first-year teacher or a seasoned pro, effective classroom management is a critical piece of any successful classroom. Share what works.

Ideas for Managing a Classroom with Students with Autism or Special Needs


A Blast from the Past A
Classroom Team’s Recipe for Success © 2003
AutismClassroom.com Reference: How to Set up a Classroom
for Students with Autism Book

In effort to promote and maintain a level of excellence,
there are some items that you will want to consider in your
classroom. Free downloads of some of these materials are on
the AutismClassroom.com Materials Page (look in the menu
bar.) Below is a list of items that your classroom, which
teaches children on the autism spectrum or with special
needs could benefit from having.

1. Schedule - A classroom schedule should be posted that
reflects the following: independent work time, 1:1 (or 2:1)
work time, small group instruction, social skills
instruction, sensory play, structured play/structured
recreation-leisure opportunities, fine motor work
opportunities, personal management opportunities, limited
large group activities.

2. An engineered environment created specifically to meet
the needs of students with Autism. These items, such as
visual supports, creating boundaries, individualization and
organization should be present. (See Classroom Set Up App
for Android and iPhone/iPad.) (Also see the iPad app store
for ”Room Layout,” the app for teachers to design a
classroom layout.)

3. Data Collection System- A data collection system should
be in place to measure each student’s IEP (Individualized
Education Plan) objectives. Develop a system that can be
ready for the start of school.

4. Written Plan for Classroom Roles and Responsibilities-
Your classroom should have a posted written plan that
designates the major responsibilities each staff member

5. Team Meetings- It is extremely important to meet with
your team members concerning the needs and issues of your
students. Try having at least 1 weekly debriefing session
before or after school.

6. 3-Step Prompting Series- To serves as a guide for making
requests of students should be used consistently in the

7. Language Based Techniques/Augmentative and Alternative
Communication (AAC) – These techniques and strategies must
be embedded in all activities throughout the child’s day.

8. A Written Behavior Plan- A plan should be in place for
each child’s targeted behaviors. If students have
inappropriate behavior(s), there should be a plan for
dealing with that behavior(s). All staff members in your
class should have a copy of the behavior plans.

9. Sensory Issues- Sensory issues should be addressed
throughout the school day. Sensory issues should be
identified for each child, when applicable, and programmed
for and incorporated in the daily schedule.

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