GROUP PROJECTS: A Strategy for Success
Group Projects are tough in middle and high school. There are so many steps to this seemingly simple thing. Maybe simple for NTs—but it can be a dreadful nightmare for students with autism spectrum disorders. Some classmates don’t want to be “stuck” with our kids in their group. So our kids have to work that much harder. I’ve put together a 5-step template for my son to use to help guide him through the process.
GROUP ACCEPTANCE. First of all, a group has to be willing to accept your child. Sometimes teachers assign groups. This is easier for our kids. Then the biggest hurdles are the last four steps. But if the class is told to form groups of 3 or 4—and our kids are left to their own devices—usually they just don’t do anything. I make sure my son’s teachers are aware of this fact and they’ve been kind enough to step in if they see him struggling.
ROLE – WHAT IS MY CHILD’S ROLE? Your child must determine his contribution. It’s important to understand the scope of the job so your child’s group members learn they can rely on him to come through.
OPT for HOW TO STAY IN CONTACT. By text, phone or email, he needs to stay in contact with all members of group. And share his contact info, as well.
UNITE. If the group meets off-site, your child must meet with them, too.
PARTICIPATION. Your child’s grade depends on it.