Touro Now

April 5, 2018

Are children with Autism misunderstood? Find out how this happens and what educators can do to prevent it.

In generalized classrooms, there can be misconceptions about a student’s behavior according to Jennifer Carvhalo, Behavior Management Specialist for Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Teachers sometimes feel that a student is intentionally misbehaving when he simply doesn’t have the skills to have his needs met appropriately.

But there are evidence-based techniques to help students with autism learn how to communicate those needs instead.

“If a student becomes aggressive when presented with a difficult demand, we’d teach the child to request a break or ask for help, that way both his needs are met and he can complete the demand in a more appropriate way,”  says Ms. Carvhalo.

But as difficult as the work can get, it can come with astonishing rewards. With the help of these techniques, some of Ms. Carvhalo’s students have gone on to be accepted to UCs and state universities when at one time it was doubtful whether they could graduate high school.

“What they’ve done is amazing, and it motivates me to keep doing this on the hard days,” Ms. Carvhalo says.

Jennifer Carvhalo, MAEd, CEHS 2013, is an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Education and provides training for teachers and specialized staff to use evidence based practices and behavior intervention plans with their students for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.

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