Hi! I'm Alana - welcome to Autism by Alana! I am a classroom teacher at an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) specific school. I have worked with children with Autism since 2006, firstly as a Behaviour Therapist in New Zealand and have been teaching in Australia since 2013. I make functional, distraction-free, autism-friendly resources that are suitable for students to use in mainstream and/or special education. I have primarily used these resources with students aged 4-9 years of age, but it is more important to think about your students developmental level and learning needs, rather than age when selecting resources. I highly recommend using these resources as part of a structured teaching environment - visuals, schedules, routine and structure are your best friends! If there is a particular resource you would like, or need some help with how to structure work for you student please "Ask a Question", I am happy to help!
I run a highly structured, super organised classroom, with a strong focus on behaviour management and functional literacy using a whole word approach. All of the resources I post here are ones I have made for my own students - so they are all classroom tested, ASD friendly resources which have supported my students achieve the goals in their Individual Learning Plans since 2013. All resources are clearly labelled, neatly designed and have a clear start and finish to the activity. To give you an idea of the environment I teach with these resources in, my classrooms have usually comprised 8-9 students with myself and two teacher aides/assistants/para's working in small groups with students throughout the day. My students access Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists weekly, along with a specialist music or art teacher weekly when I have my release/planning time. My students over the past 4 years have ranged from 4 - 10 years of age, from non-verbal with PECS/AAC to highly verbal with differing levels of receptive and expressive communication, with many students having additional diagnoses including Cerebral Palsy, ADD/ADHD, Intellectual Disability, Anxiety, challenges with diet and/or toileting and presenting with challenging behaviour.
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I hold a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology, Public Health) and Post-Graduate Diploma in Arts, with merit (Psychology - Applied Behaviour Analysis) from The University of Auckland. I then completed a Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary) at La Trobe University and have been working towards my Masters in Education (Special Education) since 2015.
Alana, 32 year old Kiwi married to an Australian, living in Melbourne, with a passion for supporting students on the Autism Spectrum.