Something that most of us think of as so simple is often times really hard for a child on the Autism Spectrum. We are taught from Kindergarten through college and even beyond that when you have a question in a classroom type of setting to raise your hand and wait to be called upon.
Children on the spectrum struggle with multi-step directions. In the classroom, first they are trying to process all of the stimuli going on in the room. The smells and sounds of the other children, the hum of the overhead fluorescent lights, the feel of the seat under them, not to mention the temperature of the room, the volume at which the teacher is speaking and the general clutter of the classroom walls displaying student's artwork or motivational pictures.
The next challenge for kids on the spectrum is to pay attention to what the teacher is talking about, it's so easy for them to become distracted by all the other stimuli going on in the room. Then when the teacher asks a question, for them to be able to remember to raise their hand after first thinking of the answer is a challenge for these kids. My son, who is on the Autism Spectrum and is in a mainstream classroom, often times will not raise his hand even though he knows the answer to the question. I snapped this picture of him during a classroom sharing circle several years ago, the teacher had asked the kids: "Raise your hand if you are excited about winter break!"
Every year I like to sit in the back of the classroom and simply observe Logan in his environment before a scheduled IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting. That way I have a general understanding of what a day looks like for him. If you have a child with an IEP, I highly recommend sitting in on his/her classroom for the entire day. See what your child is like with your own eyes so that you have a better understanding when the teachers are sharing with you their observations at the IEP meeting. You might leave the classroom with ideas for the teacher that might help to keep your child engaged in learning or accomplish other goals listed in their IEP.