how to teach an autistic child?
There are different theories on how children with autism should be taught to communicate. If children are ecolalic, then using an applied behavior analysis approach to teaching should be used. In this approach, children are shown an object that they desire and told the name. The teacher then says “What do you want?” When the child names the object, wither with ecolalia or just the word, it is given to him. This becomes more complex as the child increases his or her spoken vocabulary. It works very well.
Picture Exchange System – Non-verbal Au children are taught to use pictures to communicate their needs. The drawback is that it never really gets to any kind of actual conversation.
Sign Language – Children who are non verbal can also be taught to sign, but it is a higher form of communication than the picture system. These tend to be higher functioning kids.
Social skills – None of the children on the autism spectrum can function socially without being specifically taught. Read Scott Bellini’s book, Building Social Relationships, A Systematic Approach to Teaching Social Interaction Skills to Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders if you want to know how to do this.
If you are a parent trying to teach the child. The best advice I was ever given was by a speech pathologist. If the child has isolated his/herself for more than fifteen minutes. You must interupt their play/work. Just participate with them. They won’t be happy at first. But as we found out. After doing this everyday for a month. Our children would start to come and get us to be with them.
If you are a teacher asking this question. Remember every autistic child is completely different. You will have to meet their sensory needs before teaching them anything. You might have one child who can not stand a certain sound and a different child who makes that sound because it is soothing to them.
A lot of it is trial and error. There is NOT just one way to teach an autistic child. All three of mine have completely different methods of learning.
Check with your doctor-many resources and help you can get from your community.
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