Conventional learning environments may be stressful for children with autism. Thus, aside from relying on natural alternatives to reduce their kids’ anxiety , parents of children with autism should consider homeschooling.
This progressive choice allows parents to monitor their kids’ learning progress while providing an avenue to make education at home fun and effective. To complement homeschooling, parents can also resort to supplemental ways to improve their child’s focus and mental clarity.
Since autism symptom severity ranges for every child, studies suggested that brain imaging can be a powerful tool in examining the structural changes of the brains of individuals with autism.
This finding may also be helpful in the neurofeedback training and learning approach for children with autism.
Tips for Homeschooling Children With Autism
1. Incorporate Play and Other Physical Activities
Children with autism need to move every day. Exercises and physical play may help improve their sensory and motor skills.
Incorporating these activities into the kids’ homeschool routine helps manage symptoms of high-level stress and anxiety.
Additionally, these activities can help sustain the learning engagement of children with autism as they move along and interact with you.
Some physical activities you can try with your child are as follows:
2. Engage Them With Things That Fascinate Them
Kids with autism often have elaborate interests. If your child has a fascination with trucks, use this engrossment to keep their focus and attention.
Instead of worrying that these fixations will distract your child, you should use these things to your advantage. Include visuals featuring their passions and curiosities. Incorporating items that interest them in your everyday lessons will encourage them to open up and participate.
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3. Empower Their Decision-Making
It is essential to make your child with autism feel included and confident as you encourage them to partake in your educational goals.
Give them the freedom to choose what they want to learn and the activities they want to do. By practicing this, your child’s decision-making and critical thinking skills will develop and improve.
4. Stick to a Routine
Establish a fixed schedule that your child can look forward to.
Building a routine can help children with autism deal with the anxiety and uncertainty of everyday life. These consistent and predictable routines can make them feel safe.
You should also incorporate frequent breaks to help your child relax and destress. Make sure to fill their breaks with calming sensory activities, like listening to music, giving out hugs, and stretching.
5. Help Them Associate With the Real World
Even though you are homeschooling your child, don’t forget to introduce the world outside of the home slowly. You can do this by associating their interests with real-world objects or situations.
For instance, your child is interested in space exploration. Let him experience the real world by bringing him to a planetarium or giving him a telescope to play with.
Supporting his interest will encourage him to learn and stay interested.
Learning Activities to Try for Children With Autism
In developing a learning schedule for children with autism, you should ensure innovation and flexibility to address their particular needs. Parents are encouraged to use the following types of activities to keep education appealing to children with autism.
- Visual activities
Learning through visuals is a strategy used for children with autism. Through these activities, they can learn faster and complete assigned tasks independently.
You can try the following to hone their visual learning skills:
Let them watch educational videos and movies once in a while. This activity will help them destress while they practice their relational and cognitive skills.
Use pictures and flashcards to help them associate words with tangible things. This activity may also enhance their memory.
Design a visual schedule to show event representations instead of giving them a long series of instructions. This list will help them follow sequences more quickly.
- Sensory Activities
Stimulating your child’s five senses helps them learn and associate objects and ideas. It also supports language and cognitive development.
Below are some activities that may promote sensory exploration:
Slime Experiments: You can search for slime recipes online and do it with your kid. These types of experiments make use of the tactile sense and stimulate your child’s interest in science.
Sorting Games: You can use your kid’s toys, candies, or everyday things in the house for these types of games. Using objects may help in essential math skills, like addition, subtraction, and counting.
Auditory-Sensory Games: These types of activities enable your kid to practice their listening skills and memory of spoken words. Incorporate instructional games, such as Simon Says, and music during playtime.
- Calming activities
Children with autism often have meltdowns when they feel overwhelmed. It is essential to include calming activities in their daily learning routine. These efforts can minimize tantrums and maintain a peaceful learning environment for your child.
The following are some calming activities that can benefit them:
Coloring Activities - Ready-made coloring books or sheets for students with autism can be a way to ease their stress and encourage quiet time.
Focusing Activities - These activities teach your kid to manage their emotions and reactions to situations.
Teach them to count slowly and list all the things they can see in the room so they can practice these techniques during a stressful situation.
Benefits of Homeschooling for Children With Autism
Homeschooling can benefit both you and your child with autism.
Compared to traditional institutions and schools, homeschooling helps parents focus and address their child’s special academic, social, and emotional needs. With home education, they don’t have to worry that someone else may be doing it wrong.
Here are some benefits of homeschooling for children with autism:
Your child will have flexible learning time. One of the essential advantages of homeschooling is your child can learn at their own pace. They can identify their strengths and take their time learning topics that are difficult for them.
Your child can have unlimited breaks. The attention span of children with autism is often short, and these kids need a breather once in a while. Since your learning time is flexible, you can modify your schedule and insert study breaks as much as your child needs it.
Your child can deal with lesser distractions. You can alter and regulate your child’s learning environment so that it will work to your advantage. Minimize the clutter and keep their learning space quiet and soothing.
Your child will have a focused study session. Since you are doing one-on-one discussions, you can concentrate on your child’s questions and musings and offer immediate feedback.
Your child will benefit from alternative learning approaches. If they are struggling with a specific topic, you can use creative techniques to make them understand the lessons. These approaches may involve multisensory learning strategies.
*The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not necessarily reflect the views of Otsimo Inc.*