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Aquais94
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04 Jan 2013, 1:53 am

Hello, I'm just wondering if any teachers who is diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. I challenged my teacher about computers that I'm obsessed with, Also in French classroom, I challenged my teacher that I find this class is too easy for me. But however, everyone told me about that I should teach this class because I was smart and genius, also I find this subject is too easy.

No. of Teacher's was challenged: 4.

I find my Integrated Resource too easy. I should get into the normal diploma.

Because I was in Exploring Tech and Canadian History which it's a normal credit, (That is just right for me).

I think Teachers with Autism has more detail than normal people. sorry for hurting people's feelings.



kotshka
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04 Jan 2013, 5:17 am

I have asperger syndrome, which will soon be classifed as high functioning autism. I'm a preschool/kindergarten teacher. Before that I was a private English teacher, mostly for adults and companies who needed English for business.

I've been consistently told that I'm a very good teacher. I have a deep understanding of grammar and a good ability to explain grammatical points in different ways to adapt to a student's learning style. I do well with kids because they find me funny and my strangeness isn't negative to them, although I do have trouble with my sensory issues and the noise level.



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04 Jan 2013, 8:58 am

Some of my best teachers were probably Aspies.

I went to teachers' school for awhile, and also volunteered tutoring kids in the community.

I enjoyed it and got on well with the kids. Even junior high schoolers seldom had a problem with my strangeness, and on the few occasions that they did, it was quickly corrected between us.

My biggest problem was credulity-- I actually trusted the kids and believed the excuses they gave me. I was so concerned with being fair that they were able to get away, metaphorically, with murder.

I had much bigger problems with the administration. Never having been good at playing the political games required of teachers, I didn't last very long. Won't try that one again.


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Foxxtale
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04 Jan 2013, 9:37 am

I was a preschool teacher for 3 years and was a tutor for a long while after that. As kotshka said, young children are far more accepting of oddities in their instructors, and the only difficulty was the eventual sensory overload that a room full of children inherently brings (nap time was necessary for my own sanity)

During high school, I occasionally took over teaching the classes because I often had a better grasp of the subjects than the teachers did. This was only true in classes that held my interest such as Auto-CAD (Computer Aided Drafting), Auto shop, chemistry and other science classes, and various math classes. But it was not uncommon for classmates to come to me for help rather than the instructor or the designated tutor.

high functioning autistics/aspies make great teachers when they are allowed to do their own thing and are in a field that they genuinely enjoy. Unfortunately, teaching has become far more about cramming the 'facts' into kids than getting them to learn anything at all. As such, teachers are rarely allowed to do their own thing, and in many cases, are required to teach a preset syllabus with little or no room for variation. But of course, this is another discussion altogether.


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littlelily613
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04 Jan 2013, 9:54 am

I have high-functioning classic autism, and while I am not an educator yet, I am on my way to being a professor.


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JellyCat
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04 Jan 2013, 11:36 am

Yep, they are plenty of teachers on spectrum.
My mother was told this when she was complaining about some of my previous teachers.
Some autistics like teaching because they get to go on and on about a certain subject.



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04 Jan 2013, 2:16 pm

I think, with enough training, I would be good at teaching people how to read. I think I'd be good at playing/supervising children under the age of five if I got the chance.


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Bubbles137
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04 Jan 2013, 3:33 pm

I failed teacher training- couldn't cope with the noise/chaotic atmosphere in the classroom but am hoping to teach at university level next year...



LD92
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04 Jan 2013, 5:54 pm

I have suspected AS, but haven't persued a diagnosis for several reasons. Currently I am at University studying BSc Biomedical Sciences, but I plan to do my teacher training straight afterwards and then be a Special Educational Needs teacher, specialising in ASD :).

I was worried at first that I wouldn't be a good teacher, but I've always had a connection with SEN children; especially Autistic children, and after talking to other people on here, I've decided that my AS will make me a better teacher, especially with children on the ASD. This is because I understand them more than a typical NT could, as I have experienced part of what they're experiencing. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that there are great NT ASD SEN teachers out there, but parents of children on the ASD have often said that they'd rather their child's teacher was on the ASD themselves as they'll understand them more etc.



jacked
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05 Jan 2013, 12:06 am

Nice! Can any of you move to our district? I think we have all "Genius' w/ NT syndrome" here.



finger
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05 Jan 2013, 12:08 am

I thought a couple of my college professors were on the spectrum. I can't be sure though.



gottateach
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26 Aug 2016, 7:08 pm

I've been a teacher for 20 years now, from K-12. While it was really tough for a long time - especially before I understood about autism, the last few years have been increasingly rewarding. As with, I am sure, many of you who lived through years when there was no understanding of Aspergers/Autism/high functioning autism (not quite a rose by any other name), not understanding why you are so different is very debilitating.

I just barely made it through teacher training due to a single gaff I still can't figure out and have always been a "good teacher" whose students loved to learn. Dealing with staff is another issue altogether. Parents too can be challenging when you have difficulty focussing on their topic of conversation or making small talk.

My passion has become pedagogy - especially as it relates to math education - which as an elementary teacher is only a portion of what I teach. It isn't that hard to maintain some distance while building strong relationships with my students and I have always enjoyed the process of creating a strong classroom community. Were I able to just close my door and teach, life would be easy. Like most people though, I have to wade through the social stuff.

Last year I began to speak about myself as being "on the spectrum" publicly to my staff. I no longer try to pass as neurotypical and am soooo much happier being my intense, in the zone self.

It helps too that my husband and children are also on the spectrum - we understand each other and make home a safe place to be different.

So - there you go - one teacher's experience with teaching on the spectrum. I'm sure there are many of us out there, but the stigmatization of autism has many still hiding behind a neurotypical facade.

I am reading and can highly recommend, for anyone who wants to understand the cruel history of autism, it's historical diagnosis, and treatments as well as historical prevalence, Steve Silberman's Neurotribes. It is helping me to understand my place in the world as an aspie and autism mom.



WriterTeacherSpeaker
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20 Feb 2017, 4:33 pm

I really appreciate all the replies to this thread.

I've been a public school teacher for almost nine years now, and it has definitely been a roller coaster ride. Like others who have posted here, I've had my share of struggles interacting with administrators, parents, and fellow staff members in addition to the occasional student. Only this year, when I'm about to turn 37, have I begun to realize that like one of my own children, I have high-functioning autism (he's been diagnosed; I haven't).

I have been a teacher aid, working with a small student population that included at least one Aspie. I'm grateful for that early introduction to autism. I learned how intelligent and sweet an autistic child often is, and some of the struggles he or she may face. Maybe I could relate because I felt the same way, deep down.

I taught lower elementary for two years and was not hired back. When my administrator informed me, I was stunned. I later marched myself down to his office to ask why, since he hadn't bothered to explain. He struggled to adequately explain even then. I suspect there was political intrigue going on that I never have figured out. But he did mention "curriculum" and "procedures."

After that, I took some time to be a mother and to write. Again, I'm grateful now for the opportunity to breathe and to find out more about who I was and "what I want to be when I grow up." I didn't really think I'd ever get back into teaching.

Then, a few years later, I had the opportunity to teach high school English. It was a golden opportunity, and I took it. For four years, I taught grades 7-12 (two people's jobs, really), struggled, learned, formed friendships, and butted heads with administrators. Finally, after four years, I quit. The administration had unrealistic expectations for all their teachers, and no people skills. If I could say one thing to school administrators everywhere, it's "Nurture the staff you have." In other words, build them up, value them. Help them rise to meet their deficiencies. Don't look elsewhere for perfect employees that don't exist. Don't think you can treat people badly and not have it reflect poorly on you and the school as a whole.

Anyway, after another year off to job hunt and be Mommy, I was able to get a job at my kids' school and teach high school English a few blocks from home. No more commuting, and this time, praise the Lord, intelligent administrators who understand how to nurture the staff they have. I'm now in year three, and God has been good. I still have moments where social interactions are baffling. Since I'm just beginning to believe and understand that I am on the Spectrum, I came to this discussion thread hoping to find more insight into my life as a teacher with autism. Thanks, everybody, for your thoughts! If you visit my profile you'll find my blog for Christian teachers in public schools. I would love to be in touch with teachers on the Spectrum!

Amy



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20 Feb 2017, 10:39 pm

I taught 5th and 6th grade for 12 and a half years. Half year because I had a breakdown in the middle of last school year. I am living on my long-term disability insurance and am officially on a leave of absence. I do not plan to return, however. For one thing, I was diagnosed with Asperger's after I was already teaching for 6 years. It explains a lot about the parts of teaching I really struggle with. On the other hand, working with children is easier in some ways. I'm not intimidated by them, for some reason it is easier to make eye contact with them, etc. There were some parts of teaching I was genuinely good at, and some students would come back and visit me, which made me feel good. I was constantly on overload, though, and had too many tantrums. It was never going to be a good fit for very long. Not that I know what I'm going to do once I have stabilized a bit :?



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20 Feb 2017, 10:45 pm

I taught at the college level for more than 10 years.


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20 Feb 2017, 11:38 pm

I teach chemistry at a large university. Unfortunately, it is not a tenure-track position.