If your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are things you can do to improve the learning process. As a new parent, you might not be sure what you need to do to help them. As a result, we have created this guide to ensure supply you with tips on how to help your autistic child thrive.
1. Avoid Too Much Sensory Overload
Students with autism can be easily distracted. When they can’t focus, the learning process becomes hard for them. The simple things that can distract such students include, but not limited to, noises from other students, fluorescent lights, and smells from other students. The factors will take away their ability to concentrate in class.
To make learning easier for them, consider using cool colors that are also calm. These are what you should use to give them a relaxing atmosphere that encourages the learning process. The classroom walls must not be covered with many posters or things that might stop them from being focused. Some students might also need private centers where they can’t experience distractions from others.
2. Make Use of Visuals
Visuals, as long as carefully designed, can help students with autism. If you care about your autistic students, you should be able to take your time and select the best visuals for them. The visuals come in handy when you need to remind the learners about the class rules. Also, you should note that such students interact with visuals more than anything else.
Visuals can also be used by teachers to remind students about the resources available for them. In cases where you don’t want to engage students in lengthy conversations, or you feel that such discussions won’t be fruitful, try to use diagrams and models to communicate with them.
3. Be Predictable
Suppose you have been serving as a substitute teacher, then you understand the sort of anxiety that happens when you are in a different class or even in a different school each day. For students, especially with autism, having predictability is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety and ensure a smooth flow of the learning process.
This is because your students won’t have to worry about what is going to happen next. All they have to do is focus on their studies. Try to come up with a unique schedule that the autistic students have to follow each day.
In case there is a need to change things around, you should learn how to do that without causing anxiety.
4. Treat Learners as Individuals
This is indeed a point that goes without saying, but it is still very important to mention. Each time you are working in the classroom, there are certain qualities you should have. For instance, you should be patient, respectful, and understanding. Autistic students have special needs, and if you can’t understand and accept that fact, you won’t be able to help.
You should remind them that they are doing their best. Be there for them, and if they do something worth appreciating, don’t hesitate to do that. Also, you should not act weird if things don’t go as you had anticipated. These things are not easy to do, but since you are willing to help then students learn, you must dedicate your time and effort to ensuring that they get the assistance they deserve.
5. Teach Them Social Skills
At times, the hidden curriculum could happen to be way too hidden for some of your students with autism, and you must ensure that they find help. There are certain skills that teachers must be able to teach explicitly without having to be too dodgy with their techniques.
Make sure that your students are directly taught the right social skills to help them survive with the rest of society. You should discuss with them some facts about behaviors, and how they can make others feel. There are good picture books that you can use to teach autistic students social skills. Use this free resource to learn autism and trains to help you learn more about how to help the students.
Do you deal with autistic students or have one at home? Despite their differences, they are humans and deserve to be treated right. Therefore, make sure that your students can learn smoothly by using the tips shared above. Since learning is a process, you should be patient with them, and don’t set your expectations too high.