Visual Aids and Teaching Tips
Some children with autism have a lot of difficulty with language skills; their minds are unable to process spoken or written language normally. They process information through what they see. For this reason using a variety of visual aids and demonstrations is necessary when teaching any subject. Using picture flash cards is ideal. For example if your child is learning about nouns and verbs, you could use a picture of a cat, dog, boy jumping, girl singing, or a woman cooking. Use photos that contain a picture and the word. Frequent use of real life visuals is also ideal.
When teaching math, manipulatives should always be used. Using pizza or pie cut into equal pieces is a great way to teach fractions. Online educational games are also very beneficial for children with this disorder because many autistic children enjoy computers, art and music. If a child has difficulty controlling a mouse, roller balls are available and are easy for special needs children to use. Using tools children are interested in can create success in learning. Make sure to end an activity before the child becomes frustrated or bored.
Reading at least 20 minutes a day is necessary for all children. When reading, touch and feel, audio, and picture books should be used. During reading, instruct the child to point to the pictures and name the objects. Repetition is a must. It may be a good idea to read the same book over and over again for a few days before switching to a new story. Traditional reading methods generally do not work for autistic children. Evaluate different methods of learning until you find one that fits your individual child's needs.
Autistic children have trouble sequencing and ordering. However, they all seem to respond well to music. They may benefit from songs that teach order of operations in math or days, weeks and months of the year. Songs can also be used to teach every subject along with a variety of skills. Incorporating music into an autistic child's curriculum is a smart move.