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Tips for Working with Autistic Children

Read on to know some valuable tips for working with autistic children.
Bidisha Mukherjee Jun 18, 2019
Autism is a disorder that affects the social and psychological development of a child. This renders the child unfit for interaction with other people around them. Usually, the symptoms are observed in the early years of childhood before they start going to school.
This syndrome is marked by communication disorders, repetitive behavior and extreme sensitivity towards senses like touching, smelling, hearing, etc. Information processing is hampered due to alteration in nerve cells and their synapses. Every child can show a different behavioral pattern. Therefore, one needs to be really very careful when tackling them.

Essential Tips

Act Patiently

No matter what, you cannot afford to lose your patience. Do not get disappointed if you do not get a certain kind of response from them. By putting in some extra effort, you can see great signs of improvement.
For this, you have to invest a good amount of time in understanding the children well. With the passage of time, even they begin to feel comfortable, and inturn become more responsive.

Follow a Routine

These children feel comfortable when they lead a routine life. Whenever the routine changes, they tend to feel insecure and agitated. Prepare an itinerary that includes their daily activities, like having meals, sleeping, playing, etc. Try and follow it every day to keep them happy. If ever the schedule gets disrupted, then give them a prior intimation.

Reward the Children

When these kids give correct responses or behave positively, then do not forget to reward them promptly. This would make them feel extremely encouraged.
Also, praising them in front of their contemporaries helps in instilling a great sense of confidence. However, if they misbehave or do not give the right response, never ever punish them. This is because they may not be able to understand the connection between their behavior and the punishment given.

Repeat Your Words

This holds true for every activity, starting from improving their communication skills to those pertaining to behavior modification. When you repeat the words, they tend to understand and learn better.
At the same time, they tend to remember the information given to them. It is a misconception that repeating words leads to the development of robotic speech in the child.

Go Slow

Deal with one problem at a time, and do not be very hasty. Do not try to bring about a lot of changes within a short span of time. Prepare a separate list of problems for each child, and rank them on the basis of priority. Give maximum attention to the problem that affects the child, the most. Keep working diligently till you get satisfactory results.

When Dealing in a Classroom

The teaching environment plays a crucial role in the way a child responds in a classroom. Given here are a few useful pointers:
  • Ensure that the work environment is well-defined. Keep unwanted distractions, like excess light or noise at bay.
  • Keep the classroom environment flexible. This is needed because each child has a unique learning style. A child should be allowed to move around the classroom freely while carrying out a task. These things help them in learning efficiently.
  • Autistic kids respond well to pictures and other visual aids compared to written or verbal instructions. So, do not forget to include pictures, television, and CDs while teaching.
  • Some children who are more comfortable with typing, instead of writing or speaking. For them, a computer and keyboard should be used for improving communication skills.
One should be more concerned about the welfare of an autistic child, more than anything else. One should regularly interact with the parents and other members of the family, intimating them about the progress. Getting enough support and cooperation from people at home, helps a great deal in handling these children.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.