ByEmily Ransom, MSE
February 1, 2022
Are you a parent who has realized that the traditional classroom may not be remunerative? If so, here you are, searching for ways to help your child with autism.
It can be wearying for parents trying to determine which form of education might work best for their children. However, there are a number of autism teaching strategies which can help families assist their autistic child’s everyday learning in a setting that supports his/her needs. It’s also fundamental for teachers to know different strategies to help their learners with autism and to create an environment of calmness in their classrooms.
This article rounds up some autism teaching strategies for parents to use at home, as well as teachers to use in the schoolroom.
Autism teaching strategies for parents
Most children with autism are visual learners, meaning they learn best when they can visually see what is expected instead of verbally presented. Visual cues can help children with autism understand and retain skills and aid with communication. Visuals can be a picture, a drawing, a list, keywords, and much more. Here are some tips for use at home:
A visual schedule is a graphic representation of scheduled tasks and activities for the day. Visual schedules are beneficial for breaking down tasks with multiple steps to ensure all efforts have been completed. Visual schedules can help reduce anxiety by providing consistency for children with autism. Visual schedules are an excellent way to help ease transitions and reduce meltdowns for children. Parents can create their visual schedules for a home setting or school.
Many children with autism have difficulty focusing and engaging in activities they usually do not prefer. These are known as non-preferred activities. Parents need to help motivate and improve learning; they can use first-then cues. First-then cues will have a picture corresponding to the task that needs to be completed before engaging in the child’s more preferred activity. For example, a cue could include First (picture of what you are asking them to do) Then (pictures of a preferred activity they enjoy). This cueing helps children with autism work on following directions and is a way to help assist with learning new skills.
Find special interests as a teaching mechanism
Children with autism have particular preferences or special interests. This could be a television character, T.V. show, game, toy, etc. It may be beneficial for some parents to utilize their child’s particular interest to teach him/her new skills. For example, if a child has a specific interest in a character, you could use it to teach appropriate social skills. As a parent, you could make social stories with that character to show the accepted way of socializing with peers.
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Embody sensory tools
Some children with autism might have sensory processing dysfunction that can manifest in different ways, such as:
Language delays or deficits
Fine and gross motor delays
Inability to interact with others
Inability to stay interacted
Repetitive sensory stereotypies (stimming)
Unfortunately, parents will have to determine what sensory tool works best for their child. Parents can assemble a sensory toolbox of activities and equipment that can be used at home or school. Items that could be added to this toolbox are fidget spinners, stress balls, water beads, ooze tubes, etc. There are so many options for parents to investigate. Parents can organize their sensory toolbox by activities for their hands, whole body, auditory products, oral products, visual, smell products, and light and deep touch.
Using social skills
Social skills and communication are often an area that autism learners struggle with. Regardless of the skill taught, social skills practice for children with autism is vital. Examples of teaching social skills include: Promote the practice of “everyday” social skills, such as greeting others, raising your hand to ask a question, saying “thank you”, asking permission for specific items, etc. It is crucial to always model these types of skills to promote learning. Teaching empathy is an essential skill to interact with others and be able to understand their feelings. An excellent way for parents to start teaching empathy is by printing pictures of different moods (smiling, crying, excited, etc.). This would be a great start to show visual cues of emotional states.
Homeschooling teaching strategies
A traditional classroom setting is not always the ideal learning environment for children with autism. Some families therefore choose to homeschool their children on the spectrum; if you are a parent with a child with autism, you may be wondering where to start or if homeschooling will work for him/her. Here are some tips:
- Parents can target learning to their child’s interests and strengths while finding ways to help with his/her challenges. For example, a child who loves cars can use cars to learn how to count, read, draw, pretend, etc. Parents can develop or find a program that helps with hands-on learning tools to support their child
- Parents can support their child in an array of community settings, in which parents will be able to select the correct day and time that works best for their child. For example, a child may enjoy eating at his/her favorite fast-food restaurant, so parents could take him/her there to practice waiting for food
- Parents can research their child’s appropriate experiences, based on his/her interests like trips to the playground, museum visits, swim lessons, etc. In some cases, parents can introduce new settings slowly and can leave whenever their child is ready
- Children with autism can have some specific talents. Parents can encourage those talents in ways that some schools might not. For example, through dance classes, music therapy, art therapy, etc
- Parents can look into more therapy opportunities for their children with autism. Many schools do not provide many therapies that may be beneficial for a child with autism. Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy (ABA) is a type of treatment that focuses on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, reading, academics, and adaptive learning skills, such as fine motor, hygiene, grooming, etc.
Autism teaching strategies for teachers
As a teacher, you can use strategies that help learners with autism continue to grow academically. Teachers can also model appropriate behavior for students with autism and help teach them socially acceptable manners. If you’re a teacher, ensure you make your classroom enjoyable. You could provide an “about me” section in your classroom with pictures of your favorite activities and people that matter to you. This will provide an environment that is welcoming and loving. Always remember to be calm and favorable to your learners with autism. Here are some more tips:
- Keep any instruction or general classroom communication short, simple, and to the point. Kids with autism learn differently than their neurotypical peers. Provide opportunities to visualize, hear, touch, and interact with the words
- Use the learner’s name first to address the learner directly. For example: “Brad, get your pencil.” While other students may pick up on social cues that you are addressing, a learner with autism may not notice unless they know the question is directed to them
- Some students with autism might need additional time to process information, especially when it comes to verbal communication
- As a teacher, it is vital to understand how children view the world and what matters to them. Through doing this, you can adapt your curriculum to help each student with autism
- Most importantly, patience is crucial for a teacher. You will make mistakes. You will get frustrated, but it is essential to understand why specific topics are imperative to children with autism and help them understand how they can discuss them in a way that fits appropriately with social conventions
There are many autism teaching strategies for families to make use of which can help their children with autism: both in an everyday home setting and in a homeschooling classroom. It’s key to remember children with autism are visual learners. Also, a traditional classroom is not always ideal for children with autism, so some families might choose to homeschool. Lastly, teachers to students with autism need to get to know each of their pupils personally. This will help provide the teacher with the best techniques to help each child with autism grow and flourish.
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- Be consistent. ...
- Stick to a schedule. ...
- Reward good behavior. ...
- Create a home safety zone. ...
- Look for nonverbal cues. ...
- Figure out the motivation behind the tantrum. ...
- Make time for fun. ...
- Pay attention to your child's sensory sensitivities.
- Avoid sensory overload. Many unexpected things can be distracting to students with autism. ...
- Use visuals. ...
- Be predictable. ...
- Keep language concrete. ...
- Directly teach social skills. ...
- Treat students as individuals.
- Motivate the individual. What gets those commuters on a jam-packed train in the first place? ...
- Provide a schedule. ...
- Bridging transitions. ...
- Add structure. ...
- Use rewards. ...
- Give them time. ...
- Meet sensory needs. ...
- Prepare for change.
- Support Routines and Transitions. Most children with autism are sensitive to abrupt changes in routine and will learn best in routine situations. ...
- Use Visual Cues. ...
- Use Special Interests as a Gateway to Teaching Skills. ...
- Incorporate Sensory Tools. ...
- Support social skills practice.
What are three strategies to help a student with autism be included more in a general education classroom? ›
Pay attention to their strategies and avoid interfering if possible. Give everything a place. Avoid visual overload. Designate active learning areas – consider creating a “sit to learn” area and a “move to learn” (a child who paces could have a designated area that may be less distracting to other students)
There are various educational opportunities for students with autism: a general education classroom, a resource classroom, a special education classroom, or an autism-only setting. Some autistic students thrive in an inclusive class, while others are better in segregated situations. It all depends on the child.
Both children on the autism spectrum and their neurotypical peers learn best when they are exposed to various learning styles and teaching methods. Studies have shown that uncovering and supporting children's favored learning styles can improve performance in all areas.
- Sit in the chair. You can incorporate this into daily activities where your child is required to sit in a chair, such as meal times. ...
- Look at me. This is a good exercise to encourage your child to make and maintain eye contact with you. ...
- Match the colors. ...
- Identify the emotions. ...
- Sort household items.
- Ensure the classroom routines are accessible e.g. use of visual supports.
- Simplify communication.
- Use stress scales.
- Ensure the whole class has an opportunity to explore diversity and equality.
- Don't reinforce the challenging behaviors. ...
- Use precise simple language. ...
- Help to verbally express their emotions. ...
- Sing preferred songs. ...
- Create a calm corner (bean bags, dim lighting, sensory toys) ...
- Take deep breathes. ...
- Count to 10.
- Encourage play and social interaction. ...
- Imitate your child. ...
- Focus on nonverbal communication. ...
- Leave “space” for your child to talk. ...
- Simplify your language. ...
- Follow your child's interests.
Children with autism can succeed in a homeschool environment, but their success is not guaranteed. Parents must be motivated to do the work, and they must emphasize a child's progress. Without that motivation, a child may get a limited education.
Teaching autistic students requires a special set of skills and teaching strategies. Learn more about how to optimize your classroom for students on the spectrum and what teaching strategies will help the most.
When you equip yourself with some autistic teaching strategies, it can help you and your autistic student to feel more comfortable and successful in the educational environment.. Ultimately, autistic teaching strategies help students with autism feel more comfortable in the classroom and better able to access the curriculum.. By understanding the level of autism that your student is dealing with, you will be better prepared to establish a positive classroom environment.. The most appropriate autistic teaching strategies will vary greatly between a student with Level 1 autism versus one with Level 3 autism.. By considering what kind of environment your autistic students are learning in, you optimize their development as well as the use of your own autistic teaching strategies.. Neurotypical students also benefit from being paired with autistic students.. If a student with ASD behaves or reacts inappropriately to a situation, consider their social and communication challenges before placing blame or judgment on the student.. While teaching autistic students isn’t often as straightforward as teaching neurotypical students, the growth you’ll see will be well worth the effort.
Children with autism have unique learning needs. In this article, we'll explain the most common challenges and the best strategies to help teach kids with autism.
In order to prepare the child best and support learning, a visual schedule could be used and presented to the child, noting the change in routine.. The majority of children with autism are visual learners, meaning they learn best when material is presented visually instead of just presented verbally or through another method.. This type of cueing helps children with autism work on following directions and is a way to assist with learning new skills.. A visual schedule can be used as a way to break down the specific parts of a task or as a way to highlight a routine for children with autism.. Children with autism often struggle with following multi-step directions, so a visual schedule can be helpful when teaching new skills.. For example, if a child is learning how to prepare a sandwich, a visual schedule could include the specific parts of this task, including obtaining materials, placing ingredients on the sandwich, and eating the sandwich.. Visual schedules can also be used to outline a routine for a child with autism.. The character could be used in social stories to teach a variety of social norms and skills , and using the character would facilitate trust and also keep the child engaged.. When teaching children with autism, it is important to be aware of these tools and assist with incorporating regulating sensory activities into the daily routine.. Regardless of the skill or subject being taught, social skill practice for children with autism is critical.. Below, we will explore some ways to support social skills for children with autism.. It is essential to understand these needs for each child, but also understand the broad learning needs of children with autism.
Roselyn Dixon explains how to create an autism-friendly environment in mainstream settings...IntroductionIf educationalists try to follow a “recipe”, then they will sooner or later come across a child or a situation where the recipe does not work.
Specific strategies for creating an autism-friendly classroom include: Set up an organised classroom where there are places for resources, stationary and personal belongings and teaching the students how to access the resources in an appropriate manner; Plan strategies along with places and times for calming breaks.. Allow for some clear areas, especially near the seating areas of students on the Autism Spectrum, and change art works and student displays so as to avoid a visual overload; Be aware of sensory sensitivities and make commonsense changes to the environment (Smith-Myles, 2005).. Specific strategies can be designed to support students on the autism spectrum to learn more effectively (Pittman, 2007).. As most students on the autism spectrum respond to information presented visually rather than relying on language or verbal instructions, one of the most commonly used strategies to support learning is the use of specialised visual supports.. Whilst some students on the autism spectrum can function well using whole-class visuals it is often necessary to provide individual visuals (Walker, 2010).. This may include a reminder of an upcoming event or change written on the board or a photo of the setting for an excursion coming up or a supply teacher coming in (Kluth, 2010); Prepare the student for change by discussing it in advance using a Social Narrative such as a Social Story (Gray, 2000); Provide a reason for the change and explain exactly what will happen and what is expected of the students; Students should be warned of any changes in routine for the day during the early morning class routine.. Make social rules or procedures explicit and possibly use a supporting visual; Specific teaching of social skills; Social Stories describe a specific social situation and often include suggestions for appropriate actions in the future.. The adult (or child) talks through a situation, illustrating relevant people with matchstick figures; Power Cards are a form of skill or behaviour modelling which show what a student SHOULD do, and not what a student SHOULD NOT do; A 5-Point Scale (Buron and Curtis, 2003) is a useful tool for teaching students how to recognise and communicate their distress.. It is important for educators to assess which strategies will work for the student on the autism spectrum in their classroom environments.. The Incredible 5-point Scale: Assisting Student with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Understanding Social Interactions and Controlling Their Emotional Responses , Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Company.Dixon, R., Woodcock, S., Tanner, K. Woodley, L. & Webster, A.. She has published papers in the fields of social skills and behavioural interventions for people with a range of disabilities including students with Oppositional Defiance Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders. More recently she has been actively involved in examining the relationship between digital technologies and pedagogy in special education and inclusive classrooms for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and the implications of the NDIS on people with disabilities in rural and remote communities.
Autism reading comprehension is a complicated topic as children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience a variety of associated symptoms, and attain language proficiency at different stages—some earlier than others. Reading comprehension requires the ability to understand language and literature. It isn’t enough to just read a text without understanding the meaning behind the words […]
It isn’t enough to just read a text without understanding the meaning behind the words and how these words function collectively to form an overall message; making reading comprehension the most important skill learned at school because it broadens learning opportunities and improves communication.. Unfortunately, some autistic children have difficulties with language impacting their reading comprehension.. In this article, we’ll look at the link between language and comprehension, why reading comprehension is an important skill for autistic children to develop, and how parents and educators can help autistic children improve this skill.. Receptive language is the ability to understand language and expressive language is the ability to communicate verbally.. When the child is able to form words, semantic development occurs and, eventually, the child learns to recognize words effortlessly.. Reading comprehension follows a simple formula: word recognition x language comprehension = reading comprehension.. The takeaway message here is that reading comprehension involves the ability to recognize words from the text and to decode the information.. Decoding in this sense means to take the text and make meaning from it.. One of the challenges experienced by autistic children is the ability to decode the text, making it difficult to formulate words, and develop semantic association.. Some low-functioning autistic individuals have difficulties developing language and acquire few functional words.. However, according to O’Connor, et al. (2004), most high-functioning individuals on the spectrum may experience challenges with reading.. Ask encouraging questions along the way about what you read; it helps to build understanding
Teaching math to students with autism is a serious and complex task, but we’re confident that you can overcome it using our unique math strategies.
It’s easy to underestimate kids with autism when it comes to learning math skills that most children struggle with.. In this article, we’ll discuss the fundamental characteristics of autism spectrum disorder and the strategies for teaching autistic students basic math skills.. Teaching math to students with autism is a difficult task also because most autistic children have a hard time following instructions and paying attention to lectures.. Considering the above-mentioned difficulties, children with autism have special educational needs that must be met by parents, tutors, and/or teachers, so the child can develop optimally and be able to keep up with demanding subjects like math.. Their conclusions brought to attention the need for additional teacher training in special education and more support for kids, as teaching math to students with autism is resource-intensive.. We’re here to debunk that wide-spread notion and give you hope that with the right teaching strategies, your children can learn math just like any other kid.. Generalization Principle Another principle that can help you significantly when teaching math to students with autism is the generalization principle.. When you teach math, make sure to work with different objects and tell children that three plus two apples make five apples, but also three plus two buildings make five buildings, and three plus two dresses make five dresses.. This interactive toy appeals to the senses, captivates the attention of children, and helps autistic kids learn basic math skills.. You can always give individual tasks to children with autism having in mind the structure and elements of math curriculums adapted for autistic children.. Our tips and math strategies will then help you construct an effective math lesson, which will motivate children and help them consolidate basic math skills.
Learn valuable ABA strategies for the classroom, and how using ABA in the classroom can provide extra benefits to children on the spectrum.
So, in a way, all ABA therapists are teachers, and all teachers can apply ABA methods to their teaching.. How is ABA applied in the classroom?. Some examples of applied behavior analysis in the classroom are when teachers take the time to learn how to determine the motivation and purpose of behavior, understand how to deliver reinforcement and consequences, and modify the classroom environment to promote appropriate behavior.. How does ABA work in the classroom?. Teachers who learn how to use ABA in the classroom can see real improvements not only in student behavior, but also in learning outcomes.. to improve behavior, along with learning, social, and communication skills.. Discrete trial teaching Naturalistic teaching Pivotal response treatment Token economy Contingent observation. Exactly what are teaching strategies in ABA?. With discrete trial teaching, teachers break down skills into smaller components, and then teach each individual sub-skill separately.. The teacher and student are able to work through component tasks of a behavior or skill individually.. The treatment is used to decrease disruptive behaviors, teach language, and improve communication, social, and academic skills.. The goal is to teach the child to play or work in a group without disrupting other children.. Contingent observation is considered effective in reducing behaviors such as aggression and disruption.. Teachers who are trained in ABA thinking and methods of teaching can change their classrooms for the better, improve their teaching abilities, and help their students in meaningful ways, whether they teach special education or mainstream classes.
If you work with children with ADHD you’ll need to make accommodations for their behaviours. Check out our best tips for managing ADHD in the classroom.
Because of this, it is important that those who work in a classroom setting know how to adapt tasks and the classroom set-up for children with ADHD.. Our ADHD Awareness Training Course can help anyone who works closely with a child who has ADHD.. A child with ADHD will likely demonstrate some of the following behaviours:. Treating a child with ADHD as though they are just badly behaved is likely to damage their self-esteem and worsen behaviour.. You must make reasonable adjustments for a child with ADHD.. If a child in your class had ADHD, you should educate the other children in the classroom on the condition.. You should sit the child with ADHD near to you – this will help you monitor if they are on track.. This can help a student with ADHD to stay on task and reduce distracting changes.. You should give extensions on homework tasks to a child who has ADHD, and modify the tasks you set to accommodate the child’s needs.. Ask the child with ADHD to hand out the whiteboards – this will help expend some energy and make them feel that they have an important role in the classroom.. A child with ADHD may have difficulty sitting still and may suffer from exclusion and rejection from their peers.. Implement all of these strategies to help ADHD students get the most out of their education and live positively with their condition.
This article supports standard 3 by sharing instructional supports for children with autism spectrum disorder.
If only she had known about Child Find when Michael was just a year old!. Through Child Find, Michael was diagnosed and placed in an integrated preschool classroom that had a mix of children with and without disabilities.. Show the schedule of classroom activities.. Some children do better if they carry the picture representing an activity with them to the activity area and check in.. Support understanding what you are saying.. Help a child develop self-regulation.. Michael’s teacher also created visuals to show the tasks within each activity and to show the steps for functional routines, like washing hands before snack time.. After working with Michael for a couple of weeks to understand his current communication skills and to get to know his interests, Michael’s teacher developed a communication board for him to ask for preferred items and to express “no” when he didn’t want something.
Are you a professional who is teaching kids with autism? Are you struggling to teach them about emotions and self-regulation? There are a variety of visual cues that can help when teaching kids with autism. When autistic kids are cued into an activity, it is often much more successful.
Are you struggling to teach them about emotions and self-regulation?. At LifeSkills4Kids, we have experience of teaching kids with autism and our aim is to share our strategies to help you, as a professional, achieve the most with every one of the autistic kids that you teach.. There are a variety of visual cues that can help when teaching kids with autism.. A visual cue can help the young person to make sense of their routine and provide boundaries and security.. Fast, slow, just right visual model, eg, SticKids. Once children understand the basics of these six areas, we can use the Just Right Kids Technique to practice self-regulation of activity levels and their emotional states, leading to better self-control and less meltdowns and tantrums.. When I am a ‘just right’ kid. When I am feeling ‘just right’ I feel safe, happy and emotionally okay.. When we are teaching kids with autism to self-regulate we can use visual cues, symbols and planners to help them.. When the school term ends and holidays begin or when school is about to start again, Alex feels really worried and anxious.
Information for parents on education issues arising from Autism in the school environment
Children on the autism spectrum may have trouble understanding or communicating their. needs to teachers and fellow students.. These students have problems. not only with language and communication, but with socialization. as well.. A teacher’s aide can also be useful to the student.. Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders sometimes. have high levels of anxiety and stress, particularly in social environments. like school.. Ideally, there is a range of specific schools. for autistic students, then special classes in the regular system,. then support in the regular system i.e. teacher's aide, tutoring.