Monday, May 20, 2013

Rules, Autism, Down Syndrome following can help and hurt.

There is on very positive and sometimes a hurdle trait that students with Autism have.  The trait is following the rules to a “T”.  These students see the rules as black and white.  If in the beginning of the year the teacher tells the students no food in class, then these students no matter the circumstances believe that there should be no food in class, even if the teacher is having a party to end the year, I have personally seen students that will not participate, because the teacher established the no food rule in the beginning of the year.  I know I have witnessed students with Autism walk out of a classroom that was showing a cartoon, because the student believed that cartoons were not part of school.  This is a common occurrence across the board.
I have also seen were this may be a problem though as well.  Take for example a student with Autism is at a restaurant and their care taker tells them to stay at the table while the caretaker goes and get the car.  Meanwhile the manager asks the student with Autism to please get up because they have to seat another customer.  The student with Autism refuses because they were told not to leave.  Now there is a confrontation and it isn’t really anyones fault.  The manager is trying to conduct business (should he have empathy for the student with Autism?  Yes), and the student with Autism is trying to do what he is told by his caretaker and follow the rules.  This is where the rule following might come in a negative way.  Here is a link to a similar situation that happened in Frederick, Maryland.

Now of course this student had Down Syndrome, but he might of just of been following what his caretaker told him to do.

Does anyone else have examples like this?  Please Share!

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