7 Ways to Excel as a Tutor for Kids with Autism
Autism affects how people relate to and communicate with people around them. Due to this, such individuals have developmental disorders and/or learning disabilities.
People tutoring the kids with autism need to resort to alternatives means of instructions. If you are looking for ways to excel in tutoring such kids, then the following seven tips will do wonders for you in the long run.
Understand that Each Child is Different
There are different types of autism, so not all children will be the same. You need to understand that some might have severe more symptoms than the others. Some children may be able to communicate with little trouble, but there will be those who may not be able to do so at all. Since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, you will need to improvise and create unique methods for each child by getting to know them better.
Keep Instructions Simple
Initiating and maintain communication with the kids with autism can be challenging, for which reason it is a good idea to make instructions as simple as possible. While providing tasks, break them down into smaller bits so that they can be easily understood. Do not overwhelm such kids with complex instructions, and if necessary, you should repeat them as many times as possible. Just make sure the message being repeated is identical.
If it is not obvious enough, verbal communication does not come easy to the kids with autism. However, they do much better with images. Kids who cannot communicate in words can use images to tell their teachers and family what they want. As Autism Tutors, you can always make things simpler by using the same image for a certain process, such as showing them a picture of a playground every time they go out to play. This will make it easier for them to understand your instructions. Do keep in mind though you will need to use simpler images to prevent them from focusing on the background instead.
Let Students Do Things on their Own
The kids with autism may have learning disabilities, but that does not mean they can’t do anything at all. They can actually learn to do many tasks, even the complicated ones. It will take them a bit longer though.
As a teacher you will need to set goals for your students. Encourage them to deal with challenging tasks. You can help them out, but that is the easy way out. If a student is struggling, let them figure things out on their own, unless you have no option but to intervene. If your students are to learn, you should definitely allow them to carry out basic tasks on their own.
Use Direct Language
Younger kids may not grasp figurative language or abstract concepts as they tend to take things literally. It is also possible that they may not understand gestures and facial expressions at all. If you are teaching kids with autism for the very first time, then it will take some time to get the right words of the message you are trying to convey. Use direct language as much as possible, and you will see results in no time.
Eliminate Factors that can cause Stress
The kids with autism do not deal well with disruptions and changes to their routine. You will need to use clear instructions, transition warnings and visual schedules to make them feel at home.
Enough emphasis cannot be placed on the fact that positive reinforcement will be far more effective than punishments or threats, which will in fact cause behavioral and anxiety issues.
Build a positive learning environment so that your students feel comfortable and safe.
Despite the fact you are already using direct language to communicate with your students, they may not be able to reach or respond immediately. You will need to be patient, give them the extra time they need to absorb what you communicated. When teaching kids with autism, patience is everything. If you do not let them process at their own pace, or if you rephrase your statements, questions or instructions, you will only cause them to take longer as they will start reprocessing.
If you need further guidance, you should consult a professional, therapist or doctor. Remember, you will need to constantly research new ways to help your students learn. But that is not all, you will need to gauge how effective each new technique really is. Most importantly, no matter what happens be patient all the times. With a little effort and practice, you will find the best possible techniques that will allow your autistic students to reach new horizons like never before!