When teaching children it’s commonly known that each and every one of them will require a different level of support, some ranging from hardly any to a bit more than usual. But when it comes to teaching an autistic child they will require a little extra guidance and support. If you’re a teacher or a parent it’s essential to understand how you can help a child with autism flourish and thrive when they’re learning.
Here we look at some effective ways of teaching a child with autism.
Create A Structured Environment
Children with autism feel a lot more comfortable and at home when they have a clear routine with a structural surrounding. This includes minimal distraction from the task at hand and/or their schedule. If you’re running a class that includes an autistic child the best thing to do is ensure that your lessons are structured well with strict timings. Allow your lessons to tell students and educators alike what is to be done and when. Having a clear schedule will allow the whole class to know what they are doing and should make things easier.
Use Social Stories
There are always alternative ways to teach children with autism and one of the best ways to enable their understanding of situations, problems, people, and how to deal with them is the use of a social story. These stories help children with autism understand what the social norm should be in the situation they’re in. This teaches them how to communicate properly with others. The author of https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/social-stories-for-autistic-children/ explains that these stories are essential as they significantly improve an autistic child’s relation to others. Learning what and what not to do with these stories will help them associate if they ever come across the same situation again.
Communicate In Their Way
If you have a child that has low speech skills then learning how to communicate with them in their style is one of the best ways you can teach them. Sign language is a common form of communication between teacher and ASD students and will help them learn more efficiently. Whatever the form of communication is, the more you try to get to grips with it the better your relationship will become. If you do find certain ways of communicating that are really positive then make sure to relay that back to the parents so they can continue with it at home.
Visual Aids Are Helpful
Teaching young children will always come with certain struggles, but using visual aids is a great way to help them understand. Even more so though with ASD. Using drawings and pictures, and even photographs is a brilliant method when integrated in a daily routine. Things such as videos may present information in a more structured way that a child with ASD will find more interesting and easier to absorb.
Social Interaction Is Important
Helping a child with ASD develop social interaction skills is essential and the classroom is one of the best places to do so. They might not seem interesting in communicating at all, but as a teacher, it’s your duty to create a safe and structured environment that allows anyone and everyone the ability to speak up and have their say. Practicing communication skills at this stage is vital for the progression of their social lives and the development of themselves.
Keep Stress Away
Children with autism don’t really react well to a change in schedule or disruption of routine. For these reasons, a well thought out warning system should be put in place with verbal and visual cues. This will make them feel far more at ease when the time comes. A positive environment is much better at keeping the stress away to remain positive yourself and use positive reinforcement instead of punishments.
Negative behavior from the teacher will be seen by an ASD student and they might not react in the way you expect. Being told off or being told they won’t be allowed to do something if they carry on can be the catalyst for sensory overload in the classroom.
There are plenty of support guides out there for teachers that have ASD students. It’s all about learning about the individual and seeing what works for them. As long as your classroom is structured then your first base is covered. Use different techniques and see what works well in your situation. Communicate in any way you can and you’ll be able to enable the learning of a child with autism.