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SPECIAL NEEDS ACCEPTANCE MaryAnne Sullivan-Scott
WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT We all have different skills that we are good at, and other things that are difficult for us.
I AM GOOD AT… One thing that I’m really good at is...
IT’S HARD FOR ME TO… Something that is very difficult for me is...
HOW I FEEL… When I can’t do something very well, I feel...
SPECIAL NEEDS People who have special needs have challenges that are extra- difficult for them.
SPECIAL NEEDS Let’s take a look at a few types of special needs and the challenges they present:
CEREBRAL PALSY -may affect muscle control or any of the 5 senses
CYSTIC FIBROSIS -affects breathing and energy
VISION IMPAIRED -limited or no sight
HEARING IMPAIRED -limited or no hearing
DOWN SYNDROME -have an extra chromosome that affects the way they grow and learn
LEARNING DISABILITY - an example of a Learning Disability is Dyslexia A sentenec mghit look tihs lkie tehm to.
AUTISM -affects the way the brain works and how we react to the world around us
Today, we are going to take a closer look at AUTISM.
People with AUTISM are NOT stupid, deaf, or wrong. They are just different in some ways.
Some of the things that are easy for you-like talking, learning, playing…
…and making friends, may be very hard for some people with AUTISM……………
…and may be scary or upsetting. One thing that sometimes makes me feel scared is …
People act differently when they are upset. Some may cry, get mad, and yell.
Others like to be quiet and alone. When I’m upset I usually...
Can you name the 5 senses.
Some people with AUTISM feel their senses very, very strongly…
…and all the information they receive from their senses can be very overwhelming and distracting.
Everyone settle and listen to the soft, background noises in your classroom.
Write down 1 noise that you can still hear.
Now, imagine that all the background noises in your classroom are as loud as the noises in the cafeteria or gym…
…and you are trying to complete a reading assignment. Would the reading assignment be hard or easy for you to complete?
How would that make you feel?
That’s how it is all the time for some people with AUTISM.
Some people with AUTISM have lots and lots of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches that bother them all the time.
How would you feel if someone shined a flashlight in your eyes?
Name 1 noise that makes you want to cover your ears.
What is your least favorite smell?
Sometimes things are too hot, too cold, too sharp, too slimy, or too rough to touch. What is something you don’t like to touch?
What food do you never, ever want too eat?
Now, imagine all those things you just thought about occurred all day long. How would you feel?
Can you understand why some people with AUTISM seem upset, frustrated, or overwhelmed at times?
Some people with AUTISM may notice many, many details; and may not like clutter.
Now imagine that you studied for a reading test last night…
…and your teacher gave you the test today but it was written in German.
How would you feel when you tried to take the test?
How do you think you would do on that test?
Some people with AUTISM become upset or nervous when things change or surprise them…
…sometimes they will try to make themselves feel better by thinking of something else, or maybe even somewhere else...
…other times they may stim to feel more secure. Stimming is repeated movements, usually with the hand(s).
Some people with AUTISM are extremely uncomfortable with the unexpected. Following a routine schedule helps them feel more comfortable.
Think about a time when your mom or dad wasn’t able to tuck you in at night…
…or when the fire alarm first goes off, or even when it is announced at the end of the day that there is a change in your bus number?
How do you feel when this happens? Some people with AUTISM feel this anxiety with the slightest of change in their daily life.
Some people with AUTISM play games differently than you.
How do you feel when your friends play a game you don’t like or aren’t good at?
Some people with AUTISM do not talk. Other times, they may just repeat what you say instead of answering you.
Now, let’s imagine that you are really, really sick but you aren’t able to tell your mom.
…what would you do or how would that make you feel?
Some people with AUTISM may not understand the way you use certain words.
They may think the words or expressions you use, mean exactly the way they sound.
For example “that’s cool”…
…“can you lend me a hand?...”
“… or “what’s up?”.
Think about how we rely so much on facial expressions—
…your teacher’s glare when she’s upset with the class…
that “look” your mom gives you when you are not behaving at church or at the grocery store…
…or just a simple smile.
How would you feel if you could not see or understand a simple smile?
Some people with AUTISM may not understand facial expressions, and may not react to your conversation as you may expect.
You may think they are not listening or not interested in what you are saying.
Things to remember…
Today, 1 in 68 children have Autism according to the CDC.
Today, I hope you have learned that people with AUTISM are very interesting and they are very brave to try hard to do things we take for granted…
…and it’s very important to remember…
How can you be a better friend to someone you know who has AUTISM?
Here are a few helpful suggestions…
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