For Educators

What do I need to do?

All students benefit from consistency, predictability and the ability to forward plan. Students with invisible difficulties that interfere with learning are no different; the majority of these students require only minor adjustments to support them in their tertiary studies. Importantly, good practice for students with invisible learning difficulties is good practice for all students.

Some of the key factors that can greatly assist students in both the transition to, and progress through, their higher education qualifications include:

  • Building your knowledge and understanding of invisible learning difficulties
  • Developing an understanding of how these disabilities may impact upon students
  • Identifying strategies that support learning success for these students
  • Making reasonable adjustments to support these students

Keep calm

Very occasionally, challenging behaviours escalate to a level that threatens to disrupt the teaching session and requires intervention and/or de-escalation.

Regardless of the challenging behaviour occurring, the most important response is to stay calm (or act like you are!) and adopt your best 'GPS' voice – removing all trace of emotional content from your voice and mannerisms. Your 'GPS voice' is factual, even-toned, concise, and calm. Keep instructions to a minimum and, just like a GPS, keep repeating (and/or redirecting) if your instruction is ignored. Try and keep your directions focused on:

  • What you want the student to do.
  • How you want them to do it.
  • When do you want them to do it.

Hear more from the experts

Dr Kate Sofronoff talks about the function of behaviour.

Dr Kate Sofronoff talks about how we can shape behaviour in others by changing our own behaviour.

Dr Tony Attwood discusses the challenges of group work faced by many people with Asperger's syndrome.

Professor Tony Attwood discusses how people on the Autism Spectrum can find it difficult to read facial cues or body language indicating when to stop, slow down, or go.

Can we change behaviour?

What exactly is 'GPS Voice' and why does it work?