Enhancing the connection between teachers and autistic pupils
Jane Gurnett (a drama teacher) has developed workshops to help teaching staff to understand, connect with and relate to autistic pupils. She argues that like all children, autistic children need to feel connected, understood and validated by staff and until one can ‘walk in their shoes’ and understand their perspective, staff will not be in a position to make appropriate adjustments to their teaching or to the physical and sensory environment that are helpful. Situations are created which aim to give staff the experience of what it might be like to be autistic and the challenges this presents. They highlight what might trigger distress and how to reduce anxiety.