Now, there are many ways we learn. There are analytical learners. These persons can only learn or fully internalize a process after they have gone through it over and over again in their minds. Then there are kinesthetic learners. These persons learn by doing. The term “hands-on training” Must have been coined for them. With each action they perform, their mastery of the process deepens. There are also auditory learners. These persons learn by hearing. The fastest way for them to internalize something is if they hear that thing repeated over and over again. Finally, there are visual learners. These learners learn from what they see. They learn fastest from whatever is constantly shown to them.
Parents of autistic kids often struggle to teach their children some basic life skills. Things like leaving the house, wearing a shirt and potty training may be a very big struggle, and no matter how many times the parent repeats the instruction, the child just seems not to get it. So in this article, I’m going to be making a case for visual training, and why it is essential for autistic children.
You see, a large number of autistic children are visual learners. They may not be able to easily comprehend analytic, kinesthetic or auditory information. But just present the information to them in a visual format and they just gobble it up. It would be counterproductive and energy sapping to try and teach a child using a method he does not flow with, so once you confirm that your child is a visual learner (most autistic children are) it would be wise to switch to a visual form of training. For example, you can replace verbal instructions on potty training with a series of picture cards showing the same information.
Then, there is also the fact that autistic children have problems with language processing and comprehension. They may take some time to convert the stream of words you direct at them to meaningful information. You can bypass this language block by using a visual instruction strategy. This way, the child can learn faster due to the circumvention of the language processing barrier.
Visual training is also very important as it gives the autistic child a feeling of control over the immediate environment. The child can communicate effectively with the parents, make his needs known, express desires and emotions without passing through the frustration that occurs during a speech when all the words he needs to communicate cannot be easily accessed. In other words, visual training simplifies the communication between parent and child leading to more effectiveness in communication.
It is always a struggle to train a child who is suffering from autism. But if you make the switch from other forms of training to a child-focused visual form of training, it drastically reduces the hassle involved and ensured that the child has a better preparation for the outside world during his formative years.