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Did I see an increase in the resilience level in the students with ASD?

I designed activities to either strengthen existing individual characteristics and/or worked on building the skills that supported resilience.

During problem solving exercises especially evident during the ‘Who Dun It’ stories one student went from guessing the answers to my questions, as his default response, to  thinking about what he would say. I observed him thinking about the information he had and following the strategies I had demonstrated every week to come to a conclusion. He could tell me the reasons for his answers and continued to think about it if he got it wrong.

For the Escape Rooms introducing STEM like puzzles rather than just mathematical ones, has meant a more hands on experience for the students. When doing forensic experiments they had to cope with getting things wrong to find the right answer. There was a noticeable enjoyment in doing the forensic puzzles as they found that by using the process of elimination they would get to the right answer.

In the MakerSpace students engaged in tons of ‘making,’ making little tweaks to both the process and the products. Here, the feedback fueled the learning. The students answered reflective questions about what they were learning, where they are struggling, and what they needed to do next. I learnt that feedback isn’t something that happens when things are over. It’s something that has to happen throughout the learning process. The more we can integrate feedback and revision into the projects and lessons, the better off our students will coping when things go wrong.

Next steps?

I saw a noticeable improvement in the resilience level of only one student and I believe that more time is one factor needed to see any progress in others.  

I need to continue with finding different activities that promote problem solving and therefore support the increase of resilience within each individual.

I need to explore other ways of assessing the progress students are making. A tool that recognises the place of specific skill development as the foundation for developing key competencies. A tool that also recognises prior learning, planned experiences and identifies next learning steps.

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