Education is a privileged context to promote social inclusion and provide opportunities for active participation in all spheres of life. The objective of the school system is to ensure the participation of all students in the learning processes and skills acquisition. Thus, teachers have a crucial role to play in ensuring that implementation is effective. They need to teach new contents and take on additional methodologies.
It is therefore important to adequately prepare teachers for this task as part of their training, given that most teachers are not yet fully familiar with ICT, their purpose, the tools they offer and, therefore, the ways in which they can be used in the classroom to improve the learning process (Papageorgiou, 2020).
Many children on the autism spectrum understand the world around them better when they can use visual aids. A visual schedule that includes simple timetables and activity drawings shows autistic students what and when they will do something. These schedules can be daily or weekly, for example. They usually need to be as accurate as possible for a better organization of the routine. For example, they can be used to help structure pauses.
Some schools use software that allows stories, explanations, and instructions to be printed as a parallel text in the form of words and symbols. Lists, articles, and calendars are also visual aids that can help children understand a sequence of events and predict what will happen.
Furthermore, teachers frequently report some difficulties in dealing with certain behaviors of their autistic students. We have selected some strategies that may be useful:
All behavior has a purpose. It is important to make sure that the behavior is not related to any medical issue, especially if it arose suddenly and then intensified.
Less positive behaviors take time to change. Select only one behavior to improve at a time (maximum two behaviors).
We often use negative phrases to stop a behavior (e.g. “don’t do that!”). Instead, we should use positive communication to teach and reinforce behaviors that we want to maintain (e.g. “do so”).
Praise and positive reinforcement are great strategies to reinforce behaviors that we want to maintain and to increase students’ confidence and self-esteem.
It is important to prepare the person in advance for the change process and for any other situation that the process may involve.
Offering a safe space can be simple. All it takes is a designated area in the classroom, in the cafeteria or a quiet space without confusion. The student should feel safe when being in this space whenever necessary.
In certain situations, it is also necessary to set limits. These should be established gradually and using negotiation (for example, negotiating to do an activity of the student’s interest after finishing the class assignment), always respecting the needs and interests of the student.