Guest Blogger

Working with preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

It’s the beginning of a new school year. As I look back on the last year with our preschool class of children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder I reflect on what went well and what could be improved upon.

The other teachers in my class and I present a daily story time program. In addition to imparting on our students a love of reading and early learning preparation, each program is designed to meet the “Independent Educational Plan” (IEP) goals of each child in our class.  In looking back I can see what worked beautifully, what failed miserably, and which altogether new ideas I’d like to try.  But, while lesson planning is extremely important in our class there may be something else that can make or break a story time with our kids: we need to have the flexibility to adapt to how are kids are feeling while we are presenting. Having the ability to see and immediately tweak or even overhaul a plan is the key to success in our classroom.  This is certainly true in all programming with children, but especially true with our kids who have such sensory sensitivities that subtly changing classroom lighting, a tone of voice or even, the order in which a familiar story is told, can make or break story time or even the entire day.

That said, I’m going into this new school year busy with lots of researching and planning.  Most importantly though, I’m working on continuing to cultivate in myself the adaptability and flexibility to veer from a plan and change what’s not working.


Our guest blogger today is Emilie Trott. Emilie has worked with children for over fifteen years. As a children’s librarian, she has served children and families in libraries and out in the community. She now works for Seattle Public Schools sharing her love of books and early learning with children who have Special Needs.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at


  1. Sarah Travis

    I would love to know more of your research!

    1. Emilie Trott

      Sure. I’m happy to share some resources. What in particular interests you?


      1. Sarah Travis

        oh goodness i apologize I have not been on in a while. I am trying to learn more about the spectrum and creating programs/inclusive programs for children.

        1. Tina

          I am running an autism friendly story time on Saturday. I have done some work to prepare, but would always love to hear about autism research. I am deeply interested in it.

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