Each child with autism is unique and amazing. Teaching them in the library is trying to understand them. It’s stepping into their world, getting lost in their interests, rather than expecting them to conform to my ways. Our days are filled with reading and singing, triumphs and trials, miracles and meltdowns. Schedules provide security and ease anxiety. Sensory toys and weighted blankets help calm and regain control. Rewards for small things done boost confidence and self-worth.
Seeing their radiant smiles as they dance around the room to silly songs, or the light illuminating their eyes as they listen to a thrilling story is the highest reward.
Autism is not our whole life, just a piece of the puzzle, and we embrace it for what it is and for the richness it brings to our school.
Manipulatives and other hands-on learning materials, such as easy-grip balls, activity scarves, and beanbags, enrich the library experience of children with autism, helping them learn faster and engage more effectively. Sensory tools such as beginner's balance beams, silly shapes sensory mats, and sensory balls, help calm students' anxiety in a new environment. Musical instruments, such as rhythm sticks, allow them to engage in stories through sound. Furthermore, scarves and bean bags encourage movement and socialization with other children.
Donations to this project will enable my students to fully participate in library activities, improve their understanding of library procedures and resources available to them, and overall help them have a more enriching and meaningful library experience.
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