5 Key Tips for Teaching Children with Autism
All children learn differently and at different speeds. However, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder may need a little extra understanding, support, and guidance. Whether you are a teacher or a parent, it is vital for you to understand the needs of an autistic child and what you can do to help them learn better.
Here are some tips from Sharon Baptist Head Start, a reputable provider of Head Start Pre-K in Bronx, New York:
Learn their likes and dislikes. First and foremost, learn what the child’s like and dislikes are. For instance, do they not like to be touched? Are they not a fan of loud noises and crowded places? By learning their likes and dislikes, you can prepare a more suitable learning environment and teaching materials that can meet their preferences.
Prepare a structured environment. Children with autism typically feel more comfortable when they are following a fixed routine with minimal deviations from their schedule and clear structures. Make certain that the lesson plans you prepare are structured in a way that it completely outlines what needs to be done, when it should be completed, how long each task will be, and what will happen next. Also, make sure that the learning environment is well-organized.
Learn appropriate communication techniques. In order to communicate with an autistic child, you may have to use different communication techniques. For instance, some educators who work with children with autism use sign language to make communication easier and more effective.
Use direct language. Children with autism may find it difficult to grasp figurative language or abstract concepts. They may also find it hard to identify non-verbal cues, gestures, and facial expressions. They typically take things literally. So, make sure that you practice using direct language to avoid confusion or miscommunication.
Take note of sensory problems. Children with autism may be under- or over-sensitive to sensory stimuli, so make sure to take note of that. For example, they may be bothered by certain lighting, perfumes, and other noises. This can distract them and may lead to extreme reactions which can affect their learning. Be aware of any potential triggers and try to eliminate them.
As a leading child day care center, we strive hard every day to meet the needs of every student that we have. We practice these tips and hopefully, it proves to be beneficial for you as well.