3 Areas Where Early Intervention Can Help Autistic Children
Autistic kids are often thought of as highly intelligent. Despite social challenges, these children usually meet or exceed grade expectations. However, when they are young and possibly undiagnosed, the story is much different. Early learning Toledo OH is extremely important for building a strong foundation for future education. Teachers and parents should focus on the following skills when working with autistic children or those they suspect may be on the spectrum.
Nonverbal skills are difficult to learn and teach. A lot of the time they are learned subconsciously through observation and role-playing. For kids who haven’t learned to speak yet, non-verbal communication is essential. Children with autism struggle with understanding social cues like using eye contact and gestures. These skills should be practiced and developed early. Sign language has also been used as an aid in learning nonverbal communication.
Autistic kids traditionally have no trouble focusing on details, but struggle when trying to see the big picture. Large conceptual ideas are harder to comprehend than specific detail-oriented questions. To combat this, use the details to build a pattern or visual representation of the larger concept. Give the details some context.
This technique can also be used to expand a child’s interests. Sometimes, autistic children get stuck on one activity. This can lead to repetitive play and motions. Instead, expand their interests by placing their favorite activities in a larger context. If the child lights up when talking about dinosaurs, then use that as a jumping-off point. Maybe ask them to make a meal that would be fit for a dinosaur.
All kids have trouble paying attention in school, but autistic kids usually get distracted by different types of things. There may be a sound that nobody else heard or a light that is too bright. It takes time to develop attention skills. Be aware of the child’s focus and use positive reinforcement as much as possible. Over time, they will be able to catch their wandering thoughts and redirect themselves.