[I'm starting a journey to blog the alphabet. I needed a hook to get me writing again. A letter a day sounded like a good idea. I'll see how it goes.]
The title for this post changed a few times. I thought it would be "A is for Autism." However, it's not about Autism. It's about Antonio.
Before we get any farther, read this article and watch the video that goes with it.
Great you're back.
Antonio was a student at my school a few years ago. He was in our Autism program but spent about half of his day in mainstream classrooms with a helper. He got to know the students and made friends. Students with Autism struggle in social situations and this was an issue for Antonio at times. Some students made fun of him. Some took advantage of his willingness to do things. Others, understood, cared for, and looked out for Antonio.
His rapping is debatable. However, look at what he is doing. A $20,000 advance? A record deal? T-shirts? Popularity? Social acceptance? Using his uniqueness to his advantage?
Antonio is doing so many things to make his life better and embracing his Autism for his success.
What's the moral here? I'm not sure. For me, I think it is about knowing your students. Antonio could handle being in a mainstream classroom. It sounds like his high school teachers have gotten to know him and pushed the qualities that could make him successful.
Okay, here's the real learning. Autism classrooms are typically small. They have less than 10 students with a teacher and a couple of highly qualified assistants. That works. Every adult knows each student really well in that classroom. They can individualize instruction, meet each student's needs and help them be successful in with any goal.
Bottom line: Get to know your students and help them meet every goal. Small class sizes (15 students) would help to make this happen.