Confidence and attitude, improving knowledge and training

As previously stated, it is difficult to meet the needs of all children in the classroom. This takes a great deal of additional time, expertise, professional confidence, a positive attitude and motivation. Children and young people with autism often present with unique challenges to schools, and teachers can often find it difficult to meet their needs effectively.

As detailed information and training on the topic of autism is not an intrinsic component of teacher training, many teachers’ first meeting with a child or young person with autism is in the classroom alongside many other children, whom all have individual needs. I Am…A Professional.

As teachers try to forge classrooms as social environments, because of the realisation of the benefits of interactive, group and cooperative learning, cognisance must also be given that such a practice relies heavily on being able to interact, socialise and communicate with others effectively. However, this can intensify the stress and anxiety for children and young people with autism leading teachers with challenges of when best to use such an approach and when does a child or young person need a break from interacting with others.

The National Autistic Society found,

  • 60% of teachers said they didn’t have the training they need to teach pupils on the autism spectrum.
  • 44% of teachers say they do not feel confident teaching autistic children.

With Nolan and Molla (2016) claiming that

Teacher confidence is a key element of teacher professionalism.

As a professional learning opportunity, mentoring is instrumental in building teacher confidence and enlarging teacher professional capital.”