Aug 11, 2015

An Engineered Environment for Students with Autism

Don't forget the key to a great school year is great classroom management.  Setting up the classroom space to help students know what to do, where to be and how to interact can increase appropriate behaviors in a large way.

An Effective Classroom Set Up Which is Engineered for Students with Autism 

An engineered environment in which the teacher and classroom team specifically create will benefit your students.  To start with, think about the physical space you have available in your classroom. How can you use the space most effectively?  Will having a teacher desk, or two or three, take up much needed space for the student work areas?  Or can they be placed in some non-conspicuous manner?  For example, in a way that will allow them to be used as a support for a partition or divider. So that a work-station can be placed in front of or to the side of the desk.  Also, think about the physical boundaries that are not there but can be manufactured using furniture, carpets, tables, tape lines etc.

When setting up, it is equally important to give thought to the visual supports that will be available throughout the classroom.  Schedules, of course are most useful for students who may have a difficult time remembering information or who may need visual supports to understand information.  Posters with the picture and name of the area are useful for students who are not yet reading.  It helps them to see where to go, even if they cannot read it.

Landing pages are helpful because students can take their schedules cards and match them up to the pictures on the landing pages to know where to go to next.


Also, the landing pages give them a place to put the schedule card when it is not being used.

Communication supports are important as well.  Be sure to give students ample opportunities  to share their thoughts and feelings as well as opportunities to make choices.

Visual supports, in general,  cannot be over emphasized.  From morning routines, to hand-washing, to countdown boards for helping students give up a turn, engineering the environment is a much needed skill in an autism or special education classroom.

How to Set Up a Classroom for Students with Autism (ebook version)

1 comment :

  1. Hi,

    I happened to chance upon your blog and found it very interesting!

    We have recently launched a science app that uses augmented reality to enhance classroom teaching. The app has 3D models for kindergarten to grade 12. I thought you might want to check it out and may be review it on your blog, if possible.

    It is a paid app(with a few models free) but in case you are interested in trying it out I will be happy to provide you with a free copy.

    The link to the app is:



    You can also search for the app on the app store as 'Augmenter'.

    Do let me know if you would be interested. I am really Looking forward to your response.

    happy teaching!