Yesterday I was assisting in a second grade classroom for the first time. There is an autistic girl and a borderline autistic boy in the class. The teacher seemed to keep them mostly involved in the activities going on, but they didn't seem interested in most of it--especially the girl. The teachers system seemed to work pretty well--keeping them involved, keeping them happy with what they liked but not to the point of spoiling them, and being firm enough to make them mind but not so hard to make their experience miserable.

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Lauren, I agree that sometimes in the classroom, teachers can either push too hard or too little on their students, so I think it is important to keep that balance.  And with autistic kids, while you need to pay attention to every student in the classroom, it is important to respect that these kids may need more time on activities or may not like some activities that may keep them from reaching their fullest potential in the classroom.

I agree, it is all about balance! These kids need more time and patience, and we should cut them some slack since we cannot hold them to the exact same standards as the other "regular" classroom kids, however they do still need to be taught.

Students who have disabilities need to be just as involved as others. Just because they have a disability does not mean that they cannot do what other students are doing. It is important to focus on what the students CAN do not what they CAN NOT do. There are too many times were teachers and other school officials allow these students disability to define them when in fact a disability does not define who they are and what they can accomplish.

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