Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Autism and the Tornado

On CNN last week, I saw an interview with a teacher in Tennessee, Ira Canada, who teaches children with autism.

Recently, he faced the possibility that his school would be hit by a tornado.  How would his students fare?

It was fascinating to hear how he prepared his students.

He had enough warning to know there was a big possibility of severe weather that day.  So he started his students' day with social stories dealing with natural disasters.  And sure enough the tornado hit.

Apparently his students weathered it (no pun intended) well.  One of them even comforted a non-disabled peer.  I have known "non-disabled" children who would not do such a thing.

I have a lot of admiration for this teacher.  I know how scared Bil is of thunderstorms.  I know how children with autism (I've had a small amount of exposure to this) react to loud noises.

It's so ironic that Bil loves the Weather Channel and studying the weather - in the abstract.  I hope he never has to "weather" a tornado.

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