‘About Me’: a Downloadable Template for Your Child’s New Teacher

Research Summary Fits My Needs Better 1024x576It is our greatest hope that all Autistic children feel safe, understood and supported at school, so we have created the below downloadable template – an ‘About Me’ you can print out, fill in and give to your child’s new teachers.

Beneath it, you will find some suggested responses from our team and our Autistic community on the classroom accommodations that would have made all the difference to our school experience. We recommend you use the table to create a bullet point list of only your child’s most important, high-level needs rather than every nuance.

In some sections, we haven’t suggested responses as these will be specific to your child.

Every Autistic child is unique, so if our downloadable template does not reflect your child’s needs, feel free to copy and paste parts into your own word document – you can borrow from ours to create your own.

Suggestions on how to use this template

Page 1: About Me

The photo frame is there for you to stick a photo into or have your child draw a portrait.

Many of these responses will be specific to your child so suggestions are not provided. However, there is space to add your child’s pronouns in parentheses next to their name.

Some words that describe me are:

Below is a collection of adjectives, some of which may apply to your child.

Creative, curious, intelligent, direct, factual, energetic, knowledgeable, sensitive, kind, adventurous, honest, empathetic, helpful, imaginative, fair, cheeky, inventive, loyal, shy, compassionate, determined, observant, trusting, meticulous, autonomous, hard-working, funny, passionate, inclusive, logical, caring, perfectionistic, conscientious.

The final two responses will be unique to your child. Make sure it is what they’re proud of and what their goals are for themselves rather than what you’d like them to be!

Page 2: My unique brain

We have tried to capture the experience of many Autistic students. However, not all of the statements on this page will necessarily reflect your child’s Autistic experience. Please strike through any parts that might not be relevant to your child.

Page 3: In the classroom

What I find hard …

Consider any learning, sensory, communication or social differences, including but not limited to:

  • Remembering multi-step instructions
  • Keeping track of my personal belongings
  • Feeling criticised by my teacher, or that I can’t trust them to know me or my needs
  • Being put on the spot to answer a question
  • Sudden changes with no obvious reason for them
  • Being rushed to finish my work or not finishing
  • Having my questions dismissed or shut down
  • Being given work that’s beyond my ability
  • Being given work that’s below my ability
  • Having my focus disrupted by many students talking at once
  • Overwhelming sensory or emotional experiences
  • Loud, crowded spaces
  • Fluorescent lighting
  • Strong perfume
  • Loud bells/sirens
  • The tightness/scratchiness of my uniform
  • Other students touching me
  • Working in a group
  • Working on my own
  • Having my bag hook/locker in a busy section of the school
  • Having to provide written responses
  • Having to speak in front of the class
  • Having to read aloud
  • When students partner up for pair work and I’m left without a partner
  • Doing physical education in the sun on a hot, glary day
  • Sport activities due to my hypermobility/muscle weakness

What can help …

  • Learning that draws on my passions
  • Rules, instructions and classroom expectations that are explicit and have abstract phrases clearly defined
  • Uniform modifications to accommodate my sensory differences
  • Receiving verbal / non-verbal / visual cues to indicate transition or important information coming
  • Clear instruction on what the expectation is, what “finished” looks like and the time frame I have to do it in
  • Knowing the real-world relevance of content
  • Having a task’s step-by-step instructions in view
  • Being able to ask lots of questions as they arise
  • Having visual cues to help me stay organised
  • Time to finish my work before I move on
  • Being given the reason behind unexpected changes
  • Extra processing time in tests
  • Using technology to support my learning
  • Having a quiet, safe room to go to when I feel overwhelmed
  • Being able to take a movement break when I need one
  • The option to be excused from reading out loud
  • Having regular one-on-one check-ins with my teacher
  • The option of multiple modes of learning
  • The option to express my knowledge in a way that makes sense to me, for example, visually, verbally, in writing, or using technology
  • Incorporating movement into learning
  • Being reminded to check in with my body regularly throughout the day: Am I thirsty? Am I hungry? Do I need to go to the bathroom?
  • Text-to-speech software for assigned reading
  • Captioned text in videos and slideshows
  • The option to be excused from group work
  • The choice of where and how I sit in the classroom, for example, using a floor desk, wobble stool, sitting at the front or back of the classroom
  • Having access to a preview of the curriculum and upcoming assignments
  • Replacing demand words with requests
  • Offering choices
  • Access to fidgets and sensory comforts like ear defenders when I’m required to focus or need to self-regulate
  • Having my bag hook/locker on the end of the row where it’s not so crowded
  • Working alone
  • Having my teacher pair me with a helpful classmate for partner work
  • Advanced knowledge and preparation for fire drills
  • Being taken outside before a fire drill
  • Being excused from school camps, sports carnivals, excursions, etc.
  • Having my PE curriculum adjusted to accommodate my physical challenges
  • Feeling safe, connected and supported by my teacher

Page 4: In other school areas

What I find hard …

Consider any learning, sensory, communication or social differences, including but not limited to:

  • The busyness, noisiness and sensory overwhelm
  • Accessing items in my lunchbox – opening containers, packets, etc.
  • Tying my own shoelaces
  • Remembering to use the bathroom
  • Keeping track of my belongings
  • Understanding the social dynamics and intentions of my peers
  • Being forced to join in
  • Being bullied
  • Being excluded
  • Taking turns on the play equipment
  • Not having any structured activity to do

What can help …

  • Having access to a quiet area
  • Being able to visit the library to read books
  • Help opening the lids of my food and packing away my lunch
  • Having visual cues to help me organise my belongings
  • Being reminded to check in with my body: Am I thirsty? Am I hungry? Do I need to go to the bathroom?
  • Having access to sensory play: water play, sand play, etc.
  • Having the duty teacher keep an eye on me to ensure I’m not being bullied or excluded
  • Being allowed to play on my own in a way that makes sense to me
  • Being reminded of the choices I have for games and activities in the playground

Page 5: My emotional wellbeing

When things are going well it will look and sound like …

Think of how your child looks and sounds when they’re engaged in one of their passions. What does their voice sound like? What does their body look like? What are the stims they use when they’re feeling competent, excited or proud of themselves?

When things are not going well it will look and sound like …

Think of how your child looks and sounds when they’re dysregulated and disengaged from an activity. What are the stims they use when they’re distressed, bored, tired, upset or frightened? Do they become mute, stutter, mumble, hum or struggle with words? What does a meltdown or a shutdown look like for them? Are they able to self-advocate or not?

Page 6: Other considerations

I also have the following conditions …

Some frequently co-occurring conditions that could be listed here include, but are not limited to:

  • ADHD
  • Epilepsy
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Social anxiety
  • Migraines
  • Gastrointestinal disorder
  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
  • Intellectual disability
  • Language delay
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Hypermobility
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Situational mutism
  • Pathological Demand Avoidance
  • Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Panic attacks
  • Misophonia

What can help …

Please fill this section out based on what your child’s medical practitioners suggest.

And other things I’d like you to know …

This is anything additional you’d like the teacher to consider.

It could include external stressors that your child may be dealing with such as a recent move, a parent separation, the death of a pet, etc.

It could be a note that your child’s medication makes them really tired or they’ve just got their first period.

It could be a note on the language you prefer used in relation to your child’s Autism.

Page 7: Thoughts from my parents

What we would love to see happen this year:

This will be the hopes you have for your child and may also touch on what you hope the parent-educator partnership and communication will look like.

How we can help this year:

Here, you could mention what equipment you have at home that you can bring in for your child to use in the classroom such as wobble chairs or discs, pencil grips, ear defenders, fidgets, etc. Perhaps you have some books you’d like to donate to the school library around Autism and inclusion, or maybe you could just promise to keep the lines of communication open.

Finally, good luck! Thank you for taking the time to advocate for your child so they may receive the support they need to feel safe and supported in their school environment. We sincerely hope this template helps facilitate the conditions in which they can flourish in their education this year.


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The Reframing Autism team would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we have the privilege to learn, work, and grow. Whilst we gather on many different parts of this Country, the RA team walk on the land of the Amangu, Awabakal, Bindjareb, Birpai, Whadjak, Wiradjuri and Yugambeh peoples.

We are committed to honouring the rich culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this Country, and the diversity and learning opportunities with which they provide us. We extend our gratitude and respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to all Elders past and present, for their wisdom, their resilience, and for helping this Country to heal.

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