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Possible Solutions For Handling A Crowd
by: Wanda

My son had this challenge while attending a district school. Sensory processing issues occur with many autistic children. Such as being over/under sensitive to sights, sounds, light, touch and even certain odors. The student may need the special education committee to provide a sensory integration evaluation.

This student may become overwhelmed by her environment (i.e. noise, how she is touched or handled by the aide) becoming anxious and sensory overloaded in the hallway then becomes behavioral by pushing other students.

She may not like changing her route to class as taking the same route is predictable in an unpredictable environment.

Here are some strategies we used to help our son during transitions at school, home and in the community. Have the student wear ear plugs or leave class before or after the other students in order to minimize sensory overload. My son listens to music or plays a handheld game using earphones on outings.

Make a picture/word schedule to show student before she leaves class where she is going to next. Write a social story describing how to behave in the hallway. When she doesn't push another student reinforce her positive behavior with a reward that she likes.

A functional behavioral assessment may be necessary so that she can be observed (with data taken) before, during and after the behavior and consequence and an individualized behavioral plan can be drafted for her.

An excellent workbook for aides, teachers and parents working with autistic students is How To Be A Para Pro: A Comprehensive Training Manual For Paraprofessionals by Diane Twachtman-Cullen.

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