Ways to Teach Autistic kids

Santosh Gaikwad
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How to teach Autistic Kids

Children with autism need to have a structured day, and parents who know how to be firm but gentle. Many people with autism are visual thinkers,  hence the way you teach them also need to be different than other kids.

You can find more details about autism at wikipedia

Following are few techniques which will help you understand ways to teach autistic kids.

1. Create Predictable schedule
Autistic kids generally don’t like unpredictable things so make sure you inform them well before you plan to teach them. Children’s fear of the unknown includes everything from a suspicious new vegetable to a major change in their life.

Create Predictable Schedule
Autism Visual Schedule

Unfortunately, children are confronted with change daily, which is a growth opportunity, but also stressful. While helping children feel safe and ready to take on new challenges and developmental tasks would be reason enough to offer them structure, it has another important developmental role as well.

Structure and routines teach kids how to constructively control themselves and their environments.

2. Visual Learning
Visual learning is a style in which a learner utilizes graphs, charts, maps and diagrams.

Visual Learning
Autism Developments Picture Exchange

Many kids with autism are visual thinkers, so use flash cards, actual objects, colors while teaching kids.

From the ages 3–8 visual learning improves and begins to take many different forms. At the toddler age of 3–5, children’s bodily actions structure the visual learning environment.

At this age, toddlers are using their newly developed sensory-motor skills quite often and fusing them with their improved vision to understand the world around them.

This is seen by toddler’s using their arms to bring objects of interest close to their sensors, such as their eyes and face, to explore the object further.

The act of bringing objects close to their face affects their immediate view by placing their mental and visual attention on that object and just blocking the view of other objects that are around them and out of view.

There is an emphasis placed on objects and things that are directly in front of them and thus proximal vision is the primary perspective of visual learning.

3. Use TV for Kids
Many DTH services provide paid learning programs (which have rhymes, stories, cartoons, interactive games) which helps kids to increase interest in learning.

Alternatively you can also show some informative channels to kids like Animal Planet.

Over usage of TV is certainly not good for kids.

4. Use Internet for Kids
Many autistic kids are very good in handling mobile or computer devices, you can install computer games or mobile games / video games which will boost the memory and problem solving techniques of kids.

Over usage of Internet/video games is certainly not good for kids.

5. Prepare before teaching
Always keep yourself prepared before teaching; kids would lose interest and patience if we waste time in preparation while teaching.

Identify subject, topic, keep questions ready, prepare flash cards, and prepare cutouts to stick or fill in the blanks or match.

6. Use Objects while teaching
Kids generally do enjoy doing activities rather than just reading and writing. Activities might be cutting, pasting, drawing, painting, tearing, arranging. Make sure you use objects while teaching like addition, subtraction using colorful beads.

Use Objects while teaching
Imaginative Play Flashcards

Use pre-written cards of days of week to arrange and stick in a proper sequence, same applies for arranging ascending and descending numbers.

7. Encourage your child to ask for things
Make sure to inculcate a habit of asking for things in your child. Do not give things to your kid without him asking for it or to start with pointing at it, also don’t give him easy access to the things he want, even if he doesn’t know how to ask, make sure you show him things and tell him to ask for it, slowly and steadily he learns it.

Watch: YouTube video

8. Keep your language simple, concrete, specific
Get your point across in as few words as possible. Teach specific social rules/skills, such as turn-taking and social distance.

Give fewer choices. The more choices, the more confused an autistic child will become.

9. Avoid using Sarcasm
Autistic kids take the literal meaning of the things you say. If you talk sarcastically to them they would start behaving accordingly. (eg. If kids does something wrong and you get angry, and you say “Great” sarcastically, they would think that you appreciated what they did and hence would keep doing it again.

10. Brain Gym Exercise
Brain Gym is a system that uses simple movements to stimulate brain function. That is, it uses quick, easy-to-do developmental movements to wake up the brain without stress or injury.

Brain Gym Exercise
Brain Gym Activity Cards

Children naturally explore these movements as they grow and mature. However, under tension, children learn to rely too much on one cerebral hemisphere of the brain alone, instead of two sides together, placing unnecessary and stressful demands upon the whole physiology.

The intention behind the Brain Gym is to stimulate the brain so that the child has equal access to all dimensions of the brain.

YouTube Video 1  , YouTube Video2YouTube Video 3YouTube Video 4

11. Why just stick to Academics
Team sports such as soccer, basketball and hockey may be particularly tough. Individual sports, may be just the ticket for your child with Autism.

Identify the areas of interests of your kid and start training your kid.Swimming, Horseback Riding, Track and Field, Bowling, Hiking, Biking, Martial Arts, Yoga, Dance, Drawing, Painting, Crafting.


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