Parenthood is one of the most beautiful journeys in life. Children give a unique experience to their parents. From learning about your pregnancy to bringing your child home for the first time, every step of the way can be memorable forever. This journey differs for all parents.
Parents with children with autism can agree that it is not an easy journey to raise a child with autism. While the learning process can be different for every child, parents and caretakers can agree that children with autism need extra support and guidance on their journey.
If you are also having a hard time enhancing learning for your child with autism, here are some effective tips that can help you.
1. Create a Consistent Routine
Every parent with a child with autism can understand that their children appreciate a certain routine. They appreciate the minimal deviation from their predetermined schedule. A break in their predetermined routine can make them uncomfortable and prone to throwing tantrums.
From the environment your child learns into the lesson plans they follow, everything must be like clockwork. You must ensure a safe environment and a certain routine for your child with autism. They can learn better when not distracted by inconsistencies and changes around them.
2. Ease Up the Communication
Children with autism can have a very hard time expressing their emotions, especially when they are frustrated. Many parents feel helpless in communicating effectively with their children with autism, especially when bothered by something.
Therefore, it is important for every parent and educator to learn the right techniques to communicate with a child with autism. You can learn much through reliable resources such as Autism Parenting Magazine and certified Autism educators.
After all, words are not all you need to communicate with your child with autism. There are many experts who recommend the use of sign language for children with low speech skills. Facilitated communication is also one of the promising ways to communicate effectively with a child with autism.
3. Use Visual Aids
Children with autism often have difficulty understanding and using a language. One of the best ways to help them learn and associate is with the help of visual aids. Visual support can effectively ease your child’s communication, from photographs to drawings, objects, lines, and much more.
You can also look into Language Builder Picture Cards or if/then cards for day-to-day life and education as well. All information relayed to your child with autism in a visual form can positively affect your child’s learning.
4. Encourage Social Interactions
Children with autism need help from adults around them to develop the right knowledge and skills for effective social interactions. In most circumstances, children with autism may not seem interested in interacting with their peers, parents, or educators. However, it does not mean that you cannot h
There are many exercises that can help your child with autism get better at understanding facial expressions and processing social cues effectively. A consistent environment such as a classroom is an ideal place for a child with autism to enhance their communication.
5. Be Direct
Children with autism have a hard time understanding indirect references and abstract language. Such confusion in a learning environment can lead to frustration for them. Hence, learning ways to make your communication direct and more easily comprehensible is important.
Instead of using facial expressions or gestures, start practicing being as direct as possible. It may take some time to find the right wording and suitable strategies but look at the bright side at the end of the tunnel. You will find a way to use the right wording and cues when you are consistent on the track.
6. Excel at Patience
Patience is one of the most important things you need as a parent of a child with autism or being an autism educator. Even when you use the right wording and direct communication with someone with autism, you may not get the response right away. It can be a bit frustrating, but you must be patient.
You cannot expect someone with autism to have the same communication skills as other people their age. You must give them some time to process what you have asked. Eventually, they will have a reliable answer to your questions.
Another important thing to remember when teaching a child with autism is that it is no use to rephrase your question or reiterate the instruction. This practice does not help them understand. Instead, they may get confused and overwhelmed even further.
7. Access the Sensory Needs
Not all children with autism are the same. Similarly, their learning processes and reactions to different sensory stimuli can differ as well. Anything that bothers their sensory sense can distract them from learning and cause significant distress.
It is important for a teacher and parents to understand that a child with autism can either be over-sensitive or under-sensitive. The determination of either can tell you a lot about the way you should approach the child’s learning processes.
In addition to the sensitivity levels of children with autism, you may also want to provide them with sensory tools when they are learning. Sensory tools for children with autism, such as a teddy bear or a weighted blanket, can help children with autism reduce stress and focus more on the information being communicated.
8. Eradicate Stress
Children with autism, especially over-sensitive ones, can get stressed very easily. From perfume smells to lighting fluctuation, buzzing sounds, and much more, there are a lot of minor and major details that can stress a child with autism.
Therefore, it is important to create a stress-free environment for children with autism. As mentioned before, children with autism do not appreciate distractions and disruptions to their routines.
Even if there is a change of plan, you can eradicate stress for your child with autism by communicating the upcoming changes beforehand. It can still feel difficult to make them comfortable despite transition warnings, but that is the best way to communicate with your child with autism in given circumstances.