Sunday, September 11, 2011

Autistic Child Teaching

Teaching autistic children certainly presents a challenge, but it's not impossible. It's all about changing your perspective. Autistic children don't react to social situations the same manner that most children do, so it doesn't make sense to educate them in the same way.

Autism is a neurobiological disorder that affects social, physical, and language skills. It manifests itself in different ways: repeated gestures or noises, aversion (or indifference) to affection and touching, resistance to change in a routine, or a strong desire for order in their environments. It is three times more prevalent in boys than in girls, and estimations of occurrence change all the time; estimates range from 8 in 10,000 to 1 in 200. As more is discovered about autism, it is possible that even more children will be diagnosed. The idiosyncracies of autism makes it ineffective to educate autistic children in the "traditional" manner; the aim and goals of educating children with autism are different as well.

You've probably heard about the different types of learning. They include auditory, visual, and kinesthetic (tactile or hands-on). Traditionally, autistic children are visual learners. This makes sense considering the quirks of autism: autistic individuals have trouble "reading" social situations and body language; therefore, it may be difficult for them to process information aurally. Kinesthetic learning presents a challenge because of the rigid thinking patterns of autistic children; it will probably be hard (or impossible) to get them to participate in a hands-on learning activity. Even if the child were to participate, it won't be meaningful. Visual learning is the most logical of the three types: if done properly, very little will be "lost in translation." A picture doesn't have a voice, let alone a tone, pitch, and inflections to understand. (When you think about it, verbal communication is truly an art; it is easy to take for granted our ability to understand it.)

Another tried and tested technique for teaching autistic children is to make a daily schedule, post it, and adhere to it. This reduces the child's stress, confusion, and anxiety because their environment is predictable, thus making it possible to gradually introduce new concepts and lessons. You can't assume the child understands you, so you must be as precise as possible. Many experts recommend letting the child know ahead of time when an activity will begin or end, and warning them before you touch or move them. Good educators and informed parents will use the autistic child's individual strengths to tailor lessons to them.

Additionally, it is essential to know how to communicate with autistic children. Expectations should be altered in accordance with a child's abilities. For example, it is unrealistic to expect your autistic child to follow multiple-step directions. When teaching autistic children, it is necessary to be mindful of this, and break steps and lessons down in to their most basic forms. Patience is of the utmost importance; you will have to teach and re-teach the same lessons. Mastery will come with time; these milestones are exceptional when raising autistic children.

After reading many different books on autism, I've been able to narrow down a terrific resource that encompasses all of the fundamental facets of this disorder. Want to learn the ins and outs of Autism? Gain the knowledge that experts are sharing by Clicking Here!

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