Parenting Corner- Motivating children
For the development of children with autism, keeping them motivated is very important. Due to their condition, this may not be an easy thing to do and require efforts and use of strategies.
Although all children on the autism spectrum are different, there are some common characteristics that exist such as issues in using and understanding language, social interactions, sensory needs, difficulty in following specific instructions etc.
These characteristics can affect the academic and social life of the children while also impacting their development. It becomes crucial for parents, family members and even teachers to try and understand the children individually and work with them according to their needs and abilities.
Children work well when they are praised and appreciated often as it helps them feel successful and happy. Being supported by their parents in various activities also helps them feel loved and secure although they may not be able to show their feelings.
To ensure that children with ASD or other developmental disorders continue growing and learning skills, they should be encouraged even if they are resistant and reluctant to taking interest in learning.
Nisha is a mother who shared her insights with Newzhook about using the magic of praise on her son.
My son loves to be appreciated and likes it when we applaud, clap and cheer for him. He is a fast learner and loves to learn things on his own. When we are trying to introduce a new topic, I start with a little revision of things he knows already and then follow it with new skills. This has helped him get used to doing new things at his own pace. Nisha, Parent
Here are some things parents can do to support their children.
Understand what autism means and how it impacts the life of children on the spectrum.
Get to know the children better and understand the strengths and weaknesses they possess.
Notice the activities that trigger frustration and cause the children to avoid tasks.
Help the children learn new skills by knowing their interests, likes and dislikes.
Give ample time to children to understand a skill or activity and do not rush.
Understand how the child likes to learn, orally, visually, through practical, videos, or example etc.
Encourage through positive motivation and kind, gentle words and gestures.
Do not compare your child with other children.
Create a positive learning atmosphere and be patient.
Encourage the children to explore and learn on their own.
Avoid interference and criticism when the child is learning.
Let them make mistakes and correct them without making them feel bad.
Respect the abilities of the child and understand the limitations.
Be supportive, affectionate and motivating at whatever the child is doing.
- Claps, applaud, a victory dance routine, words of praise etc. can make a huge difference to the child.
Vijayalakshmi Sridhar a parent and educator uses fun, play and learn method with children.
“Daily we engage children to activities for set of time period. First do play way method like catching ball, hopping, jumping etc. for 15 minutes then give a break and do academic activities for 30 minutes. Then do socialization skills that include engage with same age group children so our kids learn peer behaviors and play way techniques,” she says.
Parents have to remember that their behavior has life changing impact on their children. Children are dependent on the grownups when it comes to learning skills. By setting good examples we can help the children get a more positive perspective in life that will help them cope as they grow.