Empathy, Friendship, and Support

Everyone is different—which is a great reason to teach empathy to everyone. Teach neurotypical learners about autism, including a definition and how learners with autism sometimes act in the classroom, with a language arts lesson plan about empathy and supporting your friends.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Use the lesson at the beginning of the year to instill empathy into a class community
  • Lead a discussion for students to reflect how they too learn differently than others (e.g. visual learners, hands-on learners, etc.)
Classroom Considerations
  • Be sure that learners can discuss a sensitive topic like autism in a respectful way
  • Requires copies of Ian's Walk by Laurie Lears and/or Apples for Cheyenne by Elizabeth King Gerlach
Pros
  • Brings students into the conversation about autism and increases community awareness
  • Provides ideas and links for differentiation and extension ideas
Cons
  • None