What Do You Wish Your Teachers Understood About Autism?

What Do You Wish Your Teachers Understood About Autism?
What Do You Wish Your Teachers Understood About Autism?

Calling all individuals with autism and parents of children with autism! 

Did you ever feel misunderstood? Constantly battling with your teachers? Wondering why they just didn’t understand you? Do you ever wish you could teach them something?

Well, you can! And it’s your time to be HEARD!

In honor of April being Autism Awareness Month, I am opening my blog to you! I want to hear your stories and share them with the world!

And I need your help!

You are the experts about autism! 

Are you an autistic adult?

What do you wish your teachers understood about you and your behaviors? Do you have something that you couldn’t share then, but want to share now? It’s time!

Are you an adolescent with autism?

Do you wish that you could tell your teachers something about yourself, but can’t? What is it?

Are you a parent of a child with autism?

What do you want your child’s teacher to know about your child and their needs? What do you wish they knew?

Here’s the chance to be HEARD! I want to hear from you, the experts, what you wish your teachers knew about you (or your child) and autism?

I’m looking to feature a new story from an individual with autism each day in the month of April. And that could be you! Help me spread autism awareness and share ideas, tips and tricks that you wish your teacher knew about autism.

If you (or your child with autism) would like to participate, please send the following to me at theautismquilt@gmail.com:

a description of you (or your child),

how autism affected your life at school,

and what you wish your teachers knew about autism.

Make your stories as long or as short as you want! It’s your time to be heard, so no holds barred!

Please send your stories along with a picture (optional) to me at theautismquilt@gmail.com and I will post it on my website. I want to feature YOU!

I need your help in this project, and as the experts, I am hoping you will participate!


Trisha Katkin

This guest post is by Trisha Katkin, a special education teacher in NH. She has her Master’s in Education and currently holds certificates in General Special Education, Learning Disabilities and Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities. She has been a guest speaker several times at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability at their Behavioral Workshops and at the Summer Behavioral Summit. She has been featured on KerryMagro.com, The American Autism Association and GeekClubBooks. She is a crusader for students with autism and fights to spread awareness for teachers, parents, and advocates who need help. She writes a blog at TRISHAKATKIN.COM where her posts consist of actionable step-by-step advice and tips that can be implemented immediately.


Check her out on social media!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TrishaKatkin

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/TrishaKatkin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrishaKatkin

Facebook Group for Special Educators, Autism teachers Unite! https://www.facebook.com/groups/AutismTeachersUnite


Autism and Education Q&A with Trisha Katkin – the Autism Teaching Guru.

Trisha Katkin
Trisha Katkin

Over the last few months we have been highlighting the work of Trisha Katkin, one of the key thought leaders in the area of autism and education.

Regular readers may have seen her articles such as “10 Essential Life Skills for Students with Autism” and “10 Ways to Use Positive Behavior Supports for Students with Autism.” As far as this blog is concerned Trisha we think offers one of the best sources of information and support for both parents and teachers of children on the autism spectrum. She is always on the ball and her advice is totally actionable.

So we are delighted to announce that AutismTalk is going to run an interview with her at the end of this month. But the interview is a bit different from most that you have come across before.

How so you might ask?

Well we want you, our readers and followers, to decide which questions we should ask. So what questions do you have for somebody how has spent years in the special education field? She is now considered the go to expert for special education teaching professionals? We feel this is a great opportunity to ask those questions which you want to get answered.

So what next?

Simple. Just write the questions that you have in the comments section below or if you would prefer you can send them to us at info@patienttalk.org.

For those of you who don’t know her Trisha Katkin is a special education teacher in New Hampshire in America. She has her Master’s in Education and currently holds certificates in General Special Education, Learning Disabilities and Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities. She has been a guest speaker at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability and has been featured on Autism Talk (), The American Autism Association (), as well as on Kerry Magro’s site at . She is a crusader for students with autism and fights to spread awareness for teachers, parents, and advocates who need help. She writes a blog at where her posts consist of actionable advice and tips that can be implemented immediately.

Thanks very much in advance for your help. We will confirm the date of the interview in the next week. So please watch this space!

Autism and Education – “The meaning behind the “special”.” a Cross Post from Megan Wolowicz

Megan Wolowicz Autism Teacher
Megan Wolowicz Autism Teacher

Today is my 4th day at Upper Arlington High School working in their special needs classroom. At 9:54, my lunch break began (come on guys, 9:54?) and I came to the atrium with a pile of IEP’s that would take me days to read in full. Technical behavioral and developmental jargon that most people wouldn’t understand. Goals that most people wouldn’t think needed to be established, because they come naturally to a typical person. I tell someone I work with kids with special needs and this is what they think. Special school accommodations.Special treatment to avoid problem behaviors. The word loses the positive connotation. It’s not the special I see every single day.

I know when T is having a rough day because his scripts change from Adele lyrics to “he’s weird, why is he so weird, make him stop singing”. Prettyspecial skill, huh? To be able to remember word for word the things you hear. Not everybody knows that T can speak not one, but five languages. Active participant in the school choir who has happily extended an invitation to his upcoming musical. You can expect me there with bells on.

J runs a lot. For no clear reason. Runs from the classroom. Out into the street. But he’ll tell you right away that it was wrong.  He’ll also tell you the scrabble point value of any word you give him, without hesitation.

I stay back with S to walk with her to class because it takes a little longer. Her Down Syndrome diagnosis inhibits her muscle growth and strength. But once we get to class and get settled, she updates me on the newest gossip from Seventeen magazine. She let me know that my white pants were not acceptable, because Labor Day has come and gone. She’s given me the thumbs-up to chaperone the Homecoming dance, but “pleaseeee don’t be embarrassing Ms. W, the cute boys will be there!”

Of course these kids are different. But different is not synonymous with less than. These kids have the ability to teach me something new every single day; whether it is giving me a tour of the school and formally introducing me to every staff member or subtle life lessons, like to speak kindly to others, because you never know what words will stick.

Special: better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.These kids are so special.

This post was posted here – please drop round a see her other great posts.

Ms Wolowicz is a specialist teacher of children on the autism spectrum.  She says of herself “the only thing you need to know about me is that I have a small (okay, it’s pretty big) obsession with pugs. my diet normally consists of starbucks and some sort of cheese, preferably queso dip, and I am a die hard packer fan. “in every victory, in every trial my soul will sing, be lifted high”

To see here

Autism and Education – Tips for children on the autism spectrum starting the new school year.

Autism and the new school year
Autism and the new school year

As I’m sure you know autism and education is one of the big themes of this blog. And for many in the autism community the new school year is about to begin. To with our commitment to crowd sourcing ideas from our readers we decided to ask our readers on FaceBook what they thought were good ideas by asking the question “What tips would you give for children on the autism spectrum just about to start the new school year?”.

The results were ( as always from the autism community) both abundant and useful. So here is a selection for you.

“Leading up to going back to school, I show him pictures of his new teachers, talk about school and generally just prepare him for it. Also put him into the holiday Club 1 day a week through summer hols, which is basically on the school campus x x” came from Julie.

While Kirsty said “The school should have provided the child with a social story that can be shared. This should include any teachers they will be working with together with a picture. If they are changing rooms they should have pictures of that room. Give them an idea of what the day will be like but make sure they know that things can change. Practice the school run/route before term starts including getting uniform on. There are normally admin staff in school a week or so before term so call them or the head and ask them if you can visit before term starts.”

Michelle told us “When my son started preschool, I brought him to the school for orientation so he could see the classroom, meet the teachers and therapists. I took pictures of them and the classroom and building. I got a copy of the daily schedule and used Powerpoint to create a social story for him on how his days would go. I do something similar whenever he does anything unfamiliar from getting a haircut to going to birthday parties. I can’t anticipate every challenge, but I hope it helps him. I always hyper-prepare for myself, because I get very anxious, too, in new situations and it helps me.”

“We make a special orientation just for my daughter where I can take her to her classrooms and introduce her to her new teacher. We go they’ll the whole schedule. What I do at home is start school work more rigorously 1 month ahead of time. I take her out and get new stuff and always try to get her excited for school. We have 1 month before school starts, but she is excited to go. I’ll be more nervous later, because she is in a whole new wing this year and now instead of being 1 year behind she is now 2. I think I need to prepare myself more than her really.” was Katie’s similar approach.

Another Michelle’s idea got a lot of support “I would tell parents to set up a meeting with all teachers that will be involved with your child so you can make your expectations of them to help your child”.

“Colour code your subjects on your timetable and colour code your books/folders to match the subject. Arrange a social story about the new year. Where the toilets will be, which teacher they will have, what the classroom may look like etc” is Rachel’s very organised idea.

As Brenda says there are a number of ways to crack the nut “Before the schools in our area instituted Back to School Night before school started, I made an appointment with his new teacher to bring him in and meet him/her and see where he would be sitting, get familiar with the classroom, find the bathroom nearest the classroom, etc. All of his teachers were cooperative and eager to help him transition well to a new classroom (mainstreamed always). Took him school shopping and let him pick his backpack, notebooks, etc.”

So is there anything else you would add to this? If so please feel free to add your suggestions to the comments boxes below.


One thing I should mention is that I asked a similar question of another Facebook page. this time one run by a autism teaching expert called Trisha Katkin. Miss has shared some of her great posts with us in the past so please check them out here. Anyhow one of her readers named Tracy Sherriff has written a guide to this exact problem. The great news is that you can download it for free here.

So what actually is special education? Some tips for parents of children on the autism spectrum.

With the new school year coming up with thought it would be useful to share this infographic.

It gives a great overview of what special needs education actually means and involves.

Thus it is well worth sharing among the autism and adhd communities.

Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics