A Story I Heard Somewhere

In this chapter Naoki refers to a story of a girl who danced for 7 days straight.  She danced and danced, and bore the exhaustion that it placed upon her.  With the intent of continuing to dance, on the 8th day she stopped dancing after being asked by a handsome young man, because she had then found a reason to stop.  With this chapter, I thought about the repetitive things that I see my students with autism do day to day, and considered that we, as educators, are the “handsome young man” that these students are seeking to help them stop their repetitive movements from which they find so much comfort.

Q37 asked the question “Why do you flap your hands and fingers in front of your face?” He explains that flapping and waving his hands in front of his face helps the light enter his eye more pleasantly.  Without the filter he states that presents as “needles” into the eye.  He knows the light presents so many different benefits and is necessary and this is how he copes.

Q38 asked the question: “Why do you ling up your toy cars and blocks” He explains that lining up things is fun to him!  He simply likes to sequence things and see how they line up.  He also enjoys puzzles for much of the same reasons.

Q39 asked the question: “Why do you like being in the water” He explains he is free and happy.  There are no people hassling them in the water.  This is a type of freedom that people with autism only feel in the water, due to the high demands and stimulation they receive from day to day.

Q40 asked the question: “Do you like commercials on TV?” Naoki explains they he likes the comfort in what he has seen and heard before, but does not necessarily like the one that he are novel or he is unfamiliar with.

Q41 asked the question: “What kind of TV programs do you enjoy” He explains that he enjoys TV programs that are intended for younger kids.  It is not the childishness he enjoys of the program, it is simply the straightforward stories that makes it easy to guess what is going to happen next.  These programs are easier to watch and keep him relaxed. He feels a sense of safety and relief.

Q42 asked the question: “Why do you memorize train timetables and calendars”.  Naoki explains that he memorize these things because it is fun!  Numbers are concrete, fixed, unchanging and something that he can rely on.  He views numbers as simple, clear, and easy to understand.  He finds himself always wondering if he is “perceiving” things the right way and with numbers there is no questions!

Personally, these questions were beneficial for me to read.  I work with the preschool self-contained population, and see a large number of children with autism.  Some of the behaviors and tendencies he speaks to, I find myself almost resenting because I feel as if it is a wall I am continuously trying to break down so we can address their specific language goals.  I find myself continually managing the stemming and obsession with numbers multiple times a day.  The one part in particular that stood out to me was that he wanted to be able to stop these repetitive movements, and was seeking out something to help him stop.  I often times consider it to be the opposite.  I find myself being the one who wants them to “stop” the repetitive movements and maybe I am overthinking it all?  Maybe what I need to be trying is much simpler than what I am doing every day.  You know the sessions, where you feel like you have exhausted every “trick in your bag for the last 30 minutes and feel like you accomplished absolutely nothing?  Maybe I am approaching it all wrong.  Maybe I need to slow down and think more basic, more concrete, go with what they feel comfort in vs. trying to find something else they may prefer…

Lindsay Manis, Churchill Park Pre-School



Today Marie Fisher shares a resource she learned about during an online PD opportunity:
I thought that I would share a website that I have been using since I found out about it through an online PD. Some people may have already heard about it. The website is https://newsela.com/— I love this website because it allows me to pick a subject area/ reading level and then it generates a list of relevant and interesting articles to print. You can also generate articles based on reading skills and common core standards you wish to target. Not only do my students find the articles interesting, but I have found myself entertained by some of the current events that I read. I have used articles from this website to target a multitude of my goals for middle schools.
I use Newsela as a source to find articles that I can address a multitude of goals with. Each Newsela article is offered at different reading levels. Each article also comes with ready-made writing prompts and “quizzes” that address various reading objectives.  I have used the Newsela articles to address higher-level language objectives including:
-Main idea- having students create summary sentences about the passage to ID main idea.
-Vocabulary-highlighting target words in the articles and having students use context clues to define unfamiliar words.
-Story recall or summarizing- Having the students fill out a visual support as they read to help summarize and sequence 3-5 events.
-WH comprehension questions (the articles come with pre-made comprehension questions)
-Compare/contrast- Having the students compare various vocabulary embedded in a particular article or reading two articles and comparing the two articles.
Thanks, Marie!

Earthling and Autisman

In this chapter, we hear Naoki talk about the short story he made up about the discourse between the Earthling and the Autisman.  He related it back to gravity on an airplane pulling at his body.  He found this to be pleasant.  He wished for a planet where the gravitational pull would be perfect for people with autism to move freely.  Questions made up most of this chapter.

Summary of Questions

Q#25 asked the question “what’s the reason you jump?” He stated that when jumping, he can feel his body well.  He also discusses “seizing up” which means he can move the way he wants; “shaking loose the ropes that are tying up my body”.  It is when those with autism are constrained that the flapping starts.

Q26 asked the question “why do you write letters in the air?” He stated it is a way to help him remember.

Q27 asked the question “why do people with autism often cup their ears?”  He stated that noise can be terrifying and cupping the ears helps calm them down.

Q28 asked about moving arms and legs in an awkward way.  He states that he does not have clear sensations of his arms and legs being attached.  He compares it to a miswiring of his sense of touch.

Q29 asked why he does things the rest of us don’t, specific to the five senses working differently.  He stated that it’s “actually our emotions that trigger the abnormal reactions” and not the nervous system malfunctioning.

Q30 asked “Why are you too sensitive/insensitive to pain?”   He relates this to an inner pain and that negative memories are connected to the action.  He compared it to a jigsaw puzzle that requires all pieces to fit together.

Q31 asked the question “Why are you so picky about what you eat? “ He stated that it isn’t because the sense of taste is off but that people with autism need more time to appreciate unknown foods.

Q32 asked the question “when you look at something, what do you see first?”  He stated that we can never know that answer.  He talked about everything have its own unique beauty being a blessing and wished we all could appreciate the beauty that they see”

Q33 asked if it is difficult to choose appropriate clothing.  He says yes and that people with autism often have difficulty understanding the logic of layering clothes or getting themselves cooler.  Some people will only wear the same clothing day after day and that it is reassuring to wear the same clothes daily.

Q34 asked about understand or having a sense of time.  He stated that since time has no clear boundaries, it is confusing for people with autism.

Q36 asked why sleep patterns are all messed up.  He stated that he did not know why and that he rarely has this problem.

–Karen Reynolds (SLP at Hartstern Elem.)
** I (Kinsey) apologize for the late posting–I thought this post was scheduled but it was saved in a different way. Thanks for your patience!**