That said, a teacher should never touch a child in a negative way or put them down like that. How does one deal with special needs children in a class like that? I struggle with this every day.[/quote]
I’m curious if this almost needs a separate forum because special education is not an easy one in a real classroom. Add to that what most of us live in and work in on a daily basis and it’s a nightmare.
The first step to any teaching is to understand the child. If you’re asking about Autism, like the example the OP posted (Asperger’s Syndrome is on the Autism Spectrum), there is a good video in the $100 bin of some video stores from Dicovery Health called “Fires of the Mind - The Invisible Wall: Autism.” It’s a great introduction to Autism and you don’t have to have a PhD in psychology to understand it. As a side note, I know a lot of research changes with Autism quite quickly. I don’t know if EVERYTHING said in the video is 100% accurate.
I would also look for videos on youtube by or featuring Temple Grandin. She is a leader in understanding and communicating Autism to others. She has Autism and still has a good level of communication.
That said, a child with problems such as these should not be in the class, but you, as a “teacher” do not have the ability to even suggest that. You’ll just have to make the experience as positive as you can.
If you are speaking of other students with issues, it might be best to start a new thread asking about a specific example. I’m not what I would call an “expert” in special education, but it is something I spend a good portion of my free time studying and writing about and have a few tips to share; as I’m sure others on the board can help with as well.