Today, we are excited to introduce you to Maram, a primary school teacher who is already including a child with autism in her classroom a few days a week. Maram has had near-perfect attendance throughout the program and her passion for supporting children with autism shines through in her care for her neighbor with autism as well as her dedicated work with the children in her cooperative group.
What are the most valuable things you have learned in the program so far?
I learned that it is wrong to a tell a child an instruction in a negative way because when I do that, he still does not know what I want him to do. Now I tell a child what I want him to do instead of what I don’t want him to do. I used to think that I should keep repeating instructions to children with autism so that they can understand but it turns out that the more I repeat it the more I distract him. Either he doesn’t understand me or he understands and doesn’t want to do it so I have to use different approaches.
How have you been able to (or how do you anticipate that you will be able to) use these skills in your classroom?
I used to reinforce by giving the whole big thing to reinforce the children in my classroom. Now I know that I should partially reinforce every behavior until the students reach the goal that I want them to achieve.
How has your perception of autism changed since starting this program?
Before I thought children with autism could not improve or learn new skills but now I know that children with autism can learn and can be very smart. I can teach them any skills that I want them to know how to do.
What is a personal goal you have for the rest of the program?
Since we are in a war zone, people with autism are facing many difficulties. My personal goal is humanitarian. I want to at least contribute in a small way by being able to teach these children so that they can make improvements.
Would you recommend this program to other teachers? Why?
Of course I would recommend this training to teachers. Many teachers applied but there were limited slots in the program. It is very beneficial and can improve teachers’ skills.