Before going through the autism teaching strategies described in this post, I would recommend that you gain an understanding of the various learning disabilities children with ADHD and autism face. It is important to acknowledge that every autistic child has different requirements and deserves special attention.

Free Autism Teaching Strategies Guide

Free Autism teaching strategies

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Key Autism Teaching Strategies

The following table highlights some of the key strategies for teaching children with autism. This section of the post is generic and may be applied to most children with high functioning autism. The next section will give you certain insights on how to customize your teaching plan to suit the special needs of your special child:

Autism Teaching StrategiesTable 1: Most Effective Autism Teaching Strategies

How to Teach Autistic Children

As a teacher you can use some of these proven autism teaching strategies for most effective education for autism:

Use Visual References where possible
Fig 2: Use Visual References where possible
short and concise instructions
Fig 3: Short and concise instructions
Play-Acting - Autism Teaching Strategies
Fig 4: Play-Acting for better memory restoration
  • Usage of short (easy to remember) sentences and keywords
  • Improvise and Model what the child should say rather than asking direct questions
  • Observe and Record behavioral patterns – what ticks with them and what doesn’t
  • Try to focus on appropriate replacement behaviors
  • Break up activities into sequence of smaller steps
  • Introduce a reward system: Introduction -> Behavior -> Reward
  • Drive the Child’s interest to plan activities
  • Support oral actions with visual references: Repeat pairing of words with pictures / objects / routine activities

Using Customized Home Study Plan

Not everyone studies the same. I for one always preferred to study with music in the background and sitting on the floor(please refer to my article on floor activities for autistic children). Now this may sound like a distraction, having music in the background but it worked for me! Sitting on the floor allowed me to spread my wings! This allowed me to organize all my homework right in front of me. Now, in hindsight, I created my own world to study in. My very own selection of music and my way of laying out my homework had continued on even through college.

Fig 1: Autism Teaching Strategies
Fig 5: Autism Teaching Strategies on how to teach autistic children

Entering into an Agreement with your child

Listed below, I have come up with some questions that you can ask your child (who is of age to do homework) and try to come up with a plan that incorporates the way he or she wants to study. This is great for home because both of you have the plan and have agreed to it. However, your child’s teacher might find study time in school to be more strictly dictated.

My advice is to speak with your child’s teacher and discuss the fact that these are your child’s preferences. During your discussion, highlight the fact that your child performs best when accommodating at least a few of his/her preferences.

01. When do you like to do homework?

  • After dinner _______
  • After school and after a snack _____
  • Before dinner just to get it done_______
  • In the morning before school __________
  • Something other than the above choices __________ WHEN __________

02. Who do you like to do homework with?

  • Alone _______
  • Someone in the room but not helping me______
  • With one of my friends _________
  • With one of my parents _______
  • With a tutor ________
  • With someone else _________ WHO __________

03. Where do you like to do your homework?

  • In my room ______
  • In the dining room or kitchen ______
  • On my bed ______
  • At a desk _______
  • On the floor _____
  • In the family or living room ________
  • Some Other Place _________ WHERE __________
  • How long do you need before a short break?
  • 15 minutes______ 30 minutes _____
  • 45 minutes _____ One hour _______
  • One and a half hours ______ I NEED A BREAK OF _____ minutes

04. How do you like to do your homework?

  • Laying on the floor __________ Sitting on the floor ______
  • With music ___________ In a quiet place_________
  • Near a bright light __________ Only a little light_________
  • Walking around thinking________ SOME OTHER WAY _________
  • How do you complete your homework and stay organized?
  • Have one book for school and one at home so I don’t have to remember to bring books home
  • Plan what to do first ___________
  • Color code my notebooks and folders _________
  • Write down my homework in an agenda __________
  • Call a friend to find out the homework __________
  • Place all finished work in one place _________
  • Some Other Method _________ WHAT __________

05. What helps you the most in remembering what you have learned?

  • Draw a picture __________
  • Write a note ________
  • Flashcards ________
  • Tape record the lesson _______
  • Read your homework out loud ________
  • Use songs or rhymes to remember things________
  • Make up my own way to remember_________ WHAT ___________

Breaking up a Complex Problem Statement

Children with autism spectrum disorder often have problems understanding the complex set of instructions. You would see that your child would be much more receptive if you break up a problem statement into smaller components – each of which should have a unique answer. By splitting a complex problem into smaller tangible questions, your child would be able to address each question while you can help him/her organize those thoughts in the right order or priorities. Following is a great example of how you would split a mini project assignment for school:

How to teach autistic children
Fig 7: How to teach autistic children? Split a complex problem into smaller fragments.

As you can see, using these Autism teaching strategies can go a long way in educating your autistic child. Everyone is a unique person with their own unique ways of learning. Also, read Autism in girls Vs Autism in boys as there are fundamental differences in how girls and boys handle situations. The best thing you can do is offer these questions as suggestions to your child and they set them in motion. You have control over how they do their homework.


Ash
Ash

I am Ashish, the admin for this website. Having grown up with an Autistic brother, I understand the hurdles families face dealing with Autism. I have also realized that lots could be achieved by harnessing the strengths of Autistic children to integrate them into the society. Here, we share the objective to make that information freely available! Read more

    10 replies to "Autism Teaching Strategies"

    • Grace K. Soyinka

      Thank you for this this information, please i do need your help. I’m a pottery teacher who recently has a group of children with autism to teach. I’ve never interacted with them before now. How do I start the class please?

    • Jihun

      Thank you for your informations. I’m Korean and SLP. I teach many kids who has autism and one of kid is 40 months now. He can talk but when I show him some pictures then ask him like ‘what is he doing?’ kind of that but he didn’t answer me well he just sing songs a lot and didn’t listen my voice. He knows the answer but just didn’t other peoples voice. How can I help him to listen other peoples speak?

    • erlinda p. nasol

      I read your site and I am thankful of getting some ideas about dealing with autistic children..I am a retired teacher and currently working in a center for special children. I am handling language stimulation ,and mostly of my students are non verbal..I have a difficulty of handling my 1 non verbal who is 12 years old.. Could she have a chance to speak ?What are the possible therapy techniques to enhance this child to speak..

      • ashishb01

        Thanks a lot for your reply. I am glad you found this post helpful. As far as developing speech is concerned, AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) is one of the best known techniques, but it involves devices and apps. You can check out some of the AAC Apps here. On a very simple note, we have a list of 21 basic strategies to improve speech therapy for Autism. You may find it useful

    • Tris

      Thank you so much for this site. My daughter’s nephew who visits often is Autistic and I had no idea how to interact with him. He is such a pleasant and wonderful child; always smiling and wanting to help me with things. For some reason he has formed an attachment to me and I absolutely love it. I have only had one prior experience and I had to Google strategies in doing so; it was so long ago and I let most that I learned go “ghost..” Thank you for the refresher, I will make sure these are strategies that should and will not be forgotten :).

      Tris

      • ashishb01

        Thanks Tris, I am glad you found the post useful!

    • mpho

      I am very grateful to come across this useful applications…..

    • Sahra

      Very useful apps. I will try using them for my son

      • Ashish

        I am glad you found them useful Sahra!

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