Tips for Setting Up a Special Education Classroom or Autism Classroom | Edutopia
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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Tips for Setting Up a Special Education Classroom or Autism Classroom

Tips for Setting Up a Special Education Classroom or Autism Classroom

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Back to School Part 2-- A Blast from the Past. A Classroom Team’s Recipe for Success © 2003 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 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 assumes. 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 classroom. 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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