Teaching Methods for Autistic Children
First of all, we need to know thatthese children are different, and, thus, they will need a differentteaching method. What is characteristic about autistic children isthat most of them think in pictures rather than in words. Thisclearly indicates that their native language is, actually, theirsecond language and they need to put more effort into learning it andusing it for many different things. Also, being visual thinkers, theteacher needs to have their attention at all times, since, as soon asthey turn to their thoughts, autistic children can “wander off”and lose their concentration. Therefore, constant exposure to newinformation and linguistic drills can lead to an incredible processin treating autism at an early stage of life, during the actuallanguage acquisition period.
Effective Approaches to TeachingChildren with Autism
As it was mentioned above, thesechildren need to be engaged into cognitive processes as much aspossible. Thus, even when they are playing, teacher should exposethem to certain logical tasks, or involve them into talking andthinking while staying aware. One-to-one conversation sessions shouldbe the basic part of the teaching process, taking place for about 45minutes every day. During the weekend, when these children are not inschool, parents can do the same, forcing and stimulating verbalcommunication and logical activities with their children.
Being visual learners, autisticchildren should be taught language through pictures and visualpresentation. Also, later in life they are likely to have problemswith sequences. Namely, people with autism cannot remember more thanseveral things following a sequence. For example, once they asksomeone for instruction, they might not be able to remember more thanseveral steps etc.
Visual explanation is very important.Once you teach an autistic child maths, it is best to have a visualitem, like a set of differently colored beads capable of being movedon a string, thereby being added and subtracted. With words, wordcards are the best method, as long as these have pictures and wordsdescribing them on the front page together. Also, even though manychildren of this type have a gift for drawing, some of them have badhand coordination. So, instead of forcing them to write by pen, youmight suggest typing instead.
As for the classroom, it should be adifferent one as well. First of all, bells, buzzers, screechingchairs and other loud and noisy items should all be excluded due tothe sensitivity these children have towards sound. Additionally,their eyes are sensitive to fluorescent colors and flickering lightbulbs. Stress removal should be encouraged by incorporating relaxingactivities with learning.
Finally, the visual factor should neverbe neglected. However, if the child learns sensory, give it a toy carto touch before it learns about cars and so on. All in all, you needto understand autistic children, each single individual, beforeteaching them, since, you have to modify your teaching methodssuiting these children best. This way, the results are bound to beamazing.