Use these autism teaching strategies to help your child or students learn. In my 20 years of experience working with autistic children, I have collected these 7 autism teaching strategies to help my little learners get the most out of every day. They include tips like using a daily visual schedule, lesson plans that are child led, the use of adapted sign language and more. If you are looking for autism activities, take a peek at my autism workbooks.
Autism Teaching Strategies for Parents
If you are a parent of a child with autism, these strategies, tips and ideas will help you connect with your child, organize your child’s day and reduce your child’s stress and increase his or her learning, at home.
Use a visual schedule
A visual schedule is one of the best tools I recommend again and again to organize your day at home.
You can use several visual schedules as you go through the day.
Possible visual schedules you could use :
- Daily activities (inside)
- Daily activities (outside)
- Table sessions
These are just some ideas for the most commonly used visual schedules. Feel free to use one for additional activities, based on your child’s particular activities and needs.
Related post : Autism Daily Schedule (how to make one & benefits of using one)
Follow the child’s interests to connect
If you are having trouble getting your child’s attention, or sharing activities together, it is important to follow his or her lead for interaction – at least at first.
Sometimes, you will need to focus your child’s energy on activities that may not be preferred activities – like taking a bath, learning something that is essential for daily living, or going to the grocery story without screaming, but as much as possible, try to follow your child’s interests to increase interaction and communication.
Some examples of this may be following your child’s special interests like trains, letters, numbers and more to start a game together. Sensory activities like these sensory boxes for autism (25+ sensory box ideas!) and this unicorn sensory bin, often work wonders as well to initiate play together.
Homeschooling teaching strategies
If you are homeschooling your child on the spectrum, and want to create organized, fun and educational days that are stress free, these tips will help!
Plan your day ahead of time
Planning will always help your days go more smoothly. Schedule when the day will start, what activities you will do and when, meal times, snacks, sensory breaks and more, to have the best possible day.
Related post : How to Make a Visual Schedule
Autism Teaching Strategies for Teachers
Use clear words and simple phrases
Communication challenges are central to an autism diagnosis, so when teaching a child with autism, it is essential to keep your sentences clear and simple.
Speak to the child at eye level rather than calling to him or her from across the room
This is true for any child, and especially children on the autism spectrum. It is always a good idea to speak to a child at eye level.
Provide regular sensory breaks
Sensory play has many benefits for kids on the autism spectrum. Providing regular sensory breaks during class and as part of therapy sessions, will help you teach your autistic students more effectively and with more joy.
Related post : Benefits of Sensory Play for Autism
Use sign language
Sign language is one of the most valuable tools you can have in your teaching toolkit when you are working with a child with autism.
Related post : Autism and Sign Language
Patience is crucial when working with autistic learners. Teaching takes longer, managing difficult behaviors often comes with the territory and your patience may be tested. Stay patient and the whole experience will be better for you and your little learner.
More Autism Resources
- The Successful Interaction with a Child with Autism Course – learn to better understand your autistic child or students with this complete course.
- Autism Activities Workbook Bundle – build communication skills, fine motor skills, sensory play skills and daily living skills, while helping your child or students to successfully manage any difficult behaviors, with these fun, educational, printable activities.
- Sensory Communication Workbook – Build communication skills with simple sensory activities.
- How to Make a Communication Binder Guide & Workbook – Learn how to create a Communication Binder for your child or student with autism using real photos. Follow my expert guide to learn how to use it to increase communication skills.
- Zoo Animals Play Dough Mats Bundle – use these printable play dough mat to work on the names of the animals, build language skills, and increase fine motor strength and precision in a fun, sensory way!
Autism Teaching Strategies
These are my 7 best autism teaching strategies! Would you add any other autism teaching strategies to this list?
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