Helping Autistic Children in Mainstream Classrooms

By Janessa

As more and more autistic children are joining the mainstream classroom, teachers are often faced with an interesting situation where they not only have to fulfill the classroom’s objectives but also the autistic child’s educational objectives. If you are a teacher who has an autistic child in your classroom, here are some tips to help you management the situation.

The first thing you need to do is to review the child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Doing this will give you an idea of the child’s educational goals. Take note of the child’s goals and determine whether the classroom’s learning objectives meet the child’s needs. And depending on the child’s educational goals and your classroom’s learning objectives, you may need to make certain changes to the classroom lessons or to the classroom setting and environment to be able to address the child’s needs, ability level and educational goals.

It is also best that you speak with the special education teacher or aide assigned to the child to discuss about the child’s Individual Education Plan as well as the classroom’s learning objective so that she is aware not just of the child’s educational goals but also of the direction that you wish to take with the child.

To make things easier for all concerned, it is best that you provide the special education teacher or aide a copy of the daily lesson plans and activities so that she can fully assist the child and help guide him to achieve his goals.

Now, despite the fact that there is a special education teacher or aide who focuses her attention on the child, this does not mean that you no longer need to give the child attention. You still need to communicate with the child on a regular basis. You need to develop rapport with him.

More importantly, you and the special education teacher or aide need to develop a routine that will help keep him at ease and comfortable. Keep in mind that any disruption to this set routine will cause some level of stress on the child. Keep the daily routine constant to minimize any untoward incidents with the child.

As a final note, you need to remember that you should not treat the child any differently from the other children in your class. Yes, he may be different but there is no need to emphasize this to everyone or to bring any unwanted attention to this fact.


  1. In a mainstream class of 20 students, three are identified autistic, one is ADHD, and one has Down syndrome. All five children are taking into another class for some content support time. The class is small and it is very difficult to have them all paying attention to the modified lessons prepared by the teacher. How cam this situation be improve without making major changes? There is a huge behavioral problem with these students.
    Thank you for your support.

  2. Mereha,

    Often simple things can make a world of difference. Although is may be case by case to find a solution we have seen simple things as a teacher taking a moment at the beginning of a lesson and do a short fun activity to get the children excited to learn.

    Also even things as simple as passing around an object to kids who are behaving well. This offers a easy reward to achieve and often if one child sees good behavior happening they will chime in and focus on behaving as well.

    A common issue often is that children with ADHD, Autism, or any conditional that creates problems with focus can often be connected to with a simple reward or reason to focus. If you find something that seems to be working, tell the parents, let them help engage on activities at home to help stimulate the need to focus.

    This will be work and will require trial and error but simple things that can be implemented into a whole class can often make a difference in one or hopefully all of the children.

Leave A Comment

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code