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The value of lived experience in improving teacher understanding and expectations for students with autism Emma Goodall 2013 (PhD Student and Autism consultant)

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Presentation on theme: "The value of lived experience in improving teacher understanding and expectations for students with autism Emma Goodall 2013 (PhD Student and Autism consultant)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The value of lived experience in improving teacher understanding and expectations for students with autism Emma Goodall 2013 (PhD Student and Autism consultant)

2 Problem: My research found that some teachers still feel that students with autism/Aspergers are unable to learn or that they are not teachable. Giving these teachers knowledge about autism and how it affects student behaviour, thinking and learning was insufficient to influence these teachers.

3 Perceptions and Stereotypes: When these collide it can be seriously problematic……

4 The developmental path is so different that teachers cannot see the same potential for kids on the spectrum… Attributed to Demetri Martin

5 The Solution: However, sharing lived experience of young people and adults with autism/ Aspergers with these teachers was effective.

6 Lived experience accounts can remove the roadblocks for teachers to see potential

7 And help them to understand… Misunderstanding is a two way street Autistics/aspies misunderstand NT teachers and vice versa

8 The experiences and thoughts/feelings of spectrum life… Fixations of thought

9 And why this results in the behaviours teachers experience… When teachers understand why, and that the why is not related to intelligence/ ability but to the way children with AS experience the world and react to it, then teachers can work out how to teach these students effectively.

10 When teachers realise that verbal skills do not equate to the knowledge inside a childs head then they can figure out how to help the child express all their knowledge.

11 But mostly… When teachers can talk to an adult face to face who can say, I felt these things. I did these things. I said these things, because I too am on the autistic spectrum and they know this adult is in employment, has a degree and a family, those teachers suddenly realise that the children they are struggling to understand may have a future just like that adult.

12 And I think this is because

13 Thanks to all the teachers and adults on the spectrum who have provided information and feedback for this. You can reach me at: or


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