Autism spectrum disorder is on the rise. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one percent of the world’s population has the disorder, and autistic children comprise most of them. One in every 68 births in the US is autistic while more than 3.5 million Americans live with the disorder.
But the alarming part is that the number of autistic children is on the rise, and knowing how to teach them and the strategies to use, is undeniably important.
Teaching methods for autistic children
Here are some tried and tested methods to ensure that all autistic children get the best possible education.
Structured environment: Forge an environment which is not overstimulating. The child will respond better if there’s no loud music in the background. It upsets the child’s concentration. A structured environment having predictable routines is best for autistic kids. The routine must be the same for all days and may differ only on special occasions.
Limit choices: When a child is asked to pick a color, say red, give him/her no more than three choices to select. More the choices, more confused the child will become.
Repetitive motions: Remember to select repetitive motions while working on a project. Majority of the special needs classrooms have space for work box tasks, like putting pencils and erasers or sorting colors according to color of the cups.
Suggested Read: 5 Facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder
Low voice: Keep your voice clear but low while teaching. Kids with autism tend to become agitated and confused if you speak in a loud voice. That aside, conversation between staff members should be minimum.
Less physical contact: While this is often a good strategy for neuro-typical children, it may not work for an autistic child. They can’t properly interpret touch and body language. Minimal physical contact is recommended while teaching autistic children. Encourage them by speaking.