I have had the pleasure of working with ASD students (people on the awesome spectrum, as one of the parents whose children I tutor recommend we call it - love it) for over 13 years.
In my capacity as an educator there are several things I have noticed that can help with making positive connections and building rapport. Here they are!
-Allow Time and Space
allow students to come to you and open up in their own time. Be yourself. Be consistent. You will grow on them.
hopefully as a educator or parent you're already funny. But if not, dad jokes go a long way. Making light of situations and life in general is good for us ALL.
-Allow comfort objects
please allow young people to bring their comfort object with them wherever they need to take them. Arrange spaces for them and make it special. Their items might be very dear to them, and they can help when a young person is feeling overwhelmed.
-Watch for overstimulation
don't use touch (even high fives) or overstimulate with noise. An assault on the senses isn't a good condition for anyone to be working in, anyway.
-Let it go
if a tutoring session or homeschool lesson rolls by without much of anything getting done, Let it go. Move on. Stay positive for the next session.
-Mind your jokes
while joking and light-heartedness are a must, be careful not to be sarcastic. Young people (all of them) tend to take things literally.
The Awesome Spectrum is a beautiful thing. It, along with many other things, brings diversity to the world - and there's nothing more wonderful than that.
Feel free to leave more tips in the comments!
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