Teaching Your Autistic Child
Learning and Autism
Teaching your child with autism can be a difficult task, but by modifying some simple things in your everyday routines, you can help your child learn more every day!
The deficits of autism often state the need for repetition, so it’s no secret that your child needs to have the opportunity to learn skills and be able to also use those skills in the natural environment.
The goal of teaching new skills to someone with autism is pushing them to get out of their comfort zone while also not causing them to be overly frustrated. This can make the activity more off-putting.
One of the best ways to increase learning in the natural environment is incidental teaching.
Incidental teaching is implanting learning opportunities into normal everyday routines and activities! Like getting dressed, playing with a fun toy, eating breakfast, etc. The magic of incidental teaching is that it’s naturally reinforcing. For example, if your child really wants a cookie and you’re working on increasing language, after they say “cookie” to you verbally they get the reinforcement!
The article 25 ways to create learning opportunities offers awesome ideas to turn your home and community into learning lessons so your child can learn no matter where you are. You don’t always need fancy materials or new things, you can use things you have in your home.
Some ideas from the article listed above are:
Putting Items Up High – to increase the need to use language to ask for them
Leaving Out Items Needed – realizing an item is missing and asking for it or for help
Commenting/Completing Sentences – have your child finish the sentence by leaving out a word or pausing and waiting.
Patience is key when teaching a new skill. Always take time to breathe and give your child more time than you think. If your progress is not quite where you want it to go, change your reinforcement! Reinforce everything positive they do with their favorite things, whether it’s a specific toy, activity, or small food item.
Improving Your Bond
To learn more about what you can do to modify what you’re doing to help your child learn, watch this video as well. In this video, a speech therapist is helping a caregiver modify her play skills to have fun and learn at the same time while also improving the bond between the two, and it’s incredibly sweet.
For more information on teaching your child to talk, view our article on teaching talking at https://soarbehaviorwa.com/teaching-talking/