Some tips to make learning fun for children with autism
Children with autism might lack social skills. But they are extremely good in learning new things and exploring. So if you have a child with autism or are a teacher to one, do not hesitate to explore with their creativity! One of the best things about children with autism is that they connect better with visual representations over words. So you can easily create some images and photographs through which the child can learn better.
Most of the children with autism are non verbal. But that does not mean that they are bad at reading. One of the biggest challenges of teaching a child who is non verbal is that our traditional education system is heavily relied on spoken language. Hence, teachers and parents have to be slightly wary on how to go about teaching their child with autism.
Today, we get a lot of games, puzzles, play and study materials that are made exclusively for children with autism. Parents and teachers must make maximum use of these products that can help in enhancing skills of the child.
Children with autism connect the most with representational images like photos and pictures. So the best way to appeal to them is through visual representations. You can also try reciting things to them through songs and music because they connect a lot that way. Try and ask them to repeat what they have understood. They love that kind of interaction- Subhashini Rao, Co-founder, Sankalp School
Wondering how to make learning fun for children with autism? Here are a few tips
- Spend lot of time reading out to the child- This is undoubtedly one of the most important factors that helps in the development of a child. So when a parent or teacher reads out a textbook or story book, the child connects more with the topic of discussion. This develops their language and reading abilities, especially for children with autism who are verbal. Shared reading also creates a bond between the reader (who are mostly parents or teachers) and the child.
- Provide examples- Children with autism connect a lot with images, photographs and pictures. So for instance, if you are planning a trip with family, show representational images and photos of where you are heading to. Children with autism connect a lot this way. So when they reach the destination, it will make them feel great too! This method can be applied when it comes to teaching them new things as well.
- Reward them for what they do- Kids love presents and rewards. So when your child does something well, scores good marks for their exams, reads out an entire story or does something great, reward them with a chocolate or ice-cream. This helps in boosting their confidence as well.
- One at a time- Children with autism has difficulties in learning unlike a children who does not have disabilities. But that does not mean that they are slow learners or are incapable. Introduce them to new things. But make sure that you do it slow and one at a time. You can start with phonograms and introduce them to things that can be learnt quick and fast. Mainly, you need to respect the child and his ability to slowly learn new things.
Ashish Anand is the co-founder of Perseverance, an inclusive school that empowers children with autism.
"Children with autism love watching pictures and images. That is one of the ideal ways to introduce them to new things. Flashcards and 3D figures are also very helpful. Some children do not like water play while some others do. So basically each child is different and their needs are also different. We need to identify them and work accordingly", says Ashish Anand.