Being Different May Be Cool – On The Autistic Spectrum

If you are working with learners who are on the Autistic spectrum, or who have other special needs, or learning disabilities like dyscalculia, you may find these two resources of interest.

Teacher Space

The first is a blog site called Teacher Space (created by Sue King) where the focus is sharing experiences and resources that might be helpful for anyone working with students or colleagues with Autism. There is a huge range of multimedia, as well as links to resources for the classroom (including for interactive white boards), and tools (such as these iPad apps for children with special needs). You may need an hour or two to really do the site justice as it is amazingly rich.

The second resource is a 30 minute video entitled Being Different May Be Cool – On The Autistic Spectrum. The video looks at the challenge for teachers and pupils of
including children with autusm in the mainstream classroom. It presents an honest account of life with autism from the perspective of three brothers, all of whom have the disorder. Their mother talks about how teachers can  support pupils with these difficulties and the boys explain how their autism affects them. There’s also an exercise, devised by one of the boys, to help teachers imagine what the world is like for people with autistic spectrum disorders. The description on the site reads:

Inclusion can be challenging for teachers, and for the pupil school life can be a buzzing confusion of uncertainty. Meet brothers Luke, Joe and Ben Jackson. Their mother Jacqui is outspoken and articulate about how teachers can support pupils with autism, and the boys are extremely candid about how their condition affects them.

For Luke, there are many positives. He describes brother Joe as ‘the most imaginative person you could ever meet’ and Ben as ‘the nicest and most honest kid’. Jacqui and the boys share their ideas about living with autism, as do the teachers who are working with Joe and Ben to ensure their inclusion in school life.

Click HERE to watch the video.

About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ ( I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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