The Amaze Classroom – An Online Resource for those Teaching Students with ASD
The Amaze Classroom gives teachers a central resource on ASD – how ASD can impact the classroom experience, practical suggestions for supporting students with ASD, working with families, adapting lessons, understanding sensory issues and so much more.
The Amaze Classroom is freely available online for all teachers across Victoria. The resource was funded by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) under the More Support for Students with Disabilities National Partnership.
“The Amaze Classroom was created to provide information and practical suggestions for classroom teachers who are educating students with ASD,” says Kate Day, Project Manager. “It is for teachers in primary, secondary and specialist settings with the goal of supporting educators to further develop their knowledge of ASD and provide them with strategies and suggestions for supporting these students at school.”
Whilst teachers and educators will find this highly beneficial, parents and carers may also find it of use as well.
“Amaze has worked closely with The Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development on a number of initiatives over the last few years, and we are delighted to deliver this new resource for teaching staff as a result of our ongoing relationship with them,” said Fiona Sharkie, Amaze CEO. “Teaching is a difficult job. The more strategies teaching staff have at their fingertips to help them understand and support individuals with ASD, the better it is for everyone – the teachers, the students with ASD and the whole school community.”
The resource was developed by Amaze staff, Kate Day and Lauren Topp with support and feedback from a committee made up of staff with expertise in education, psychology, service delivery and counselling.
The Amaze Classroom includes a short introduction to ASD from Professor Tony Attwood and then three main areas of information:
- About Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Teaching and Learning,
- Social Skills and Behaviour.
Each section has been developed to give teaching staff the support they need across the many different issues that arise – communication, behaviour, sensory sensitivities, organisational skills, creating learning plans and partnering with families.
“I found the website to be very informative and useful,” Classroom Teacher, Michelle Nolan told us. “There is an abundance of information and resources available but it is not at all overwhelming: the information is presented using language that is easy to understand making it extremely user friendly, and I was able to find what I was looking for quickly and directly.
Michelle works in a mainstream primary school and tells us that her school currently has at least one child with ASD in every classroom. “We enjoy working with these students and their families, as well as the diversity this brings to our school environment. I will be referring my colleagues to the site to support them when working with students with ASD in their classrooms,” she said.
Amaze recommends that all teachers – not just those who currently have a known student with ASD – have a good look through the resource: ASD is a complex condition, and after looking at the Amaze Classroom, teachers will be better equipped to recognise characteristics of ASD in their students. The content will help them to be the best teacher they can be, and to bring out the best in these students.