How to teach autistic children

Before going through the autism teaching strategies described in this post, I would recommend that you gain an understanding of the various learning disabilities children with ADHD and autism face. It is important to acknowledge that every autistic child has different requirements and deserves special attention.

How to teach autistic children

What this page contains

The following table highlights some of the key strategies for teaching children with autism. This section of the post is generic and may be applied to most children with high functioning autism. The next section will give you certain insights on how to customize your teaching plan to suit the special needs of your special child:

How to teach autistic childrenTable 1 : Most Effective Autism Teaching Strategies

As a teacher you can use some of these proven autism teaching strategies for most effective education for autism:

How to teach autistic childrenFig 2: Use Visual References where possible How to teach autistic childrenFig 3: Short and concise instructions How to teach autistic childrenFig 4: Play-Acting for better memory restoration

  • Usage of short (easy to remember) sentences and keywords
  • Improvise and Model what the child should say rather than asking direct questions
  • Observe and Record behavioral patterns – what ticks with them and what doesn’t
  • Try to focus on appropriate replacement behaviors
  • Break up activities into sequence of smaller steps
  • Introduce a reward system: Introduction -> Behavior -> Reward
  • Drive the Child’s interest to plan activities
  • Support oral actions with visual references: Repeat pairing of words with pictures / objects / routine activities

Not everyone studies the same. I for one always preferred to study with music in the background and sitting on the floor(please refer to my article on floor activities for autistic children). Now this may sound like a distraction, having music in the background but it worked for me! Sitting on the floor allowed me to spread my wings! This allowed me to organize all my homework right in front of me. Now, in hindsight, I created my own world to study in. My very own selection of music and my way of laying out my homework had continued on even through college.

How to teach autistic childrenFig 5: Autism Teaching Strategies on how to teach autistic children

Entering into an Agreement with your child

Listed below, I have come up with some questions that you can ask your child (who is of age to do homework) and try to come up with a plan that incorporates the way he or she wants to study. This is great for home because both of you have the plan and have agreed to it. However, your child’s teacher might find study time in school to be more strictly dictated.

My advice is to speak with your child’s teacher and discuss the fact that these are your child’s preferences. During your discussion, highlight the fact that your child performs best when accommodating at least a few of his/her preferences.

01. When do you like to do homework?

  • After dinner _______
  • After school and after a snack _____
  • Before dinner just to get it done_______
  • In the morning before school __________
  • Something other than the above choices __________ WHEN __________

02. Who do you like to do homework with?

  • Alone _______
  • Someone in the room but not helping me______
  • With one of my friends _________
  • With one of my parents _______
  • With a tutor ________
  • With someone else _________ WHO __________

03. Where do you like to do your homework?

  • In my room ______
  • In the dining room or kitchen ______
  • On my bed ______
  • At a desk _______
  • On the floor _____
  • In the family or living room ________
  • Some Other Place _________ WHERE __________
  • How long do you need before a short break?
  • 15 minutes______ 30 minutes _____
  • 45 minutes _____ One hour _______
  • One and a half hours ______ I NEED A BREAK OF _____ minutes

04. How do you like to do your homework?

  • Laying on the floor __________ Sitting on the floor ______
  • With music ___________ In a quiet place_________
  • Near a bright light __________ Only a little light_________
  • Walking around thinking________ SOME OTHER WAY _________
  • How do you complete your homework and stay organized?
  • Have one book for school and one at home so I don’t have to remember to bring books home
  • Plan what to do first ___________
  • Color code my notebooks and folders _________
  • Write down my homework in an agenda __________
  • Call a friend to find out the homework __________
  • Place all finished work in one place _________
  • Some Other Method _________ WHAT __________

05. What helps you the most in remembering what you have learned?

  • Draw a picture __________
  • Write a note ________
  • Flashcards ________
  • Tape record the lesson _______
  • Read your homework out loud ________
  • Use songs or rhymes to remember things________
  • Make up my own way to remember_________ WHAT ___________

Children with autism spectrum disorder often have problems understanding the complex set of instructions. You would see that your child would be much more receptive if you break up a problem statement into smaller components – each of which should have a unique answer. By splitting a complex problem into smaller tangible questions, your child would be able to address each question while you can help him/her organize those thoughts in the right order or priorities. Following is a great example of how you would split a mini project assignment for school:

How to teach autistic childrenFig 7: How to teach autistic children? Split a complex problem into smaller fragments.

As you can see, using these Autism teaching strategies can go a long way in educating your autistic child. Everyone is a unique person with their own unique ways of learning. Also, read Autism in girls Vs Autism in boys as there are fundamental differences in how girls and boys handle situations. The best thing you can do is offer these questions as suggestions to your child and they set them in motion. You have control over how they do their homework.

Over 3.5 million individuals in the U.S. have some form of autism spectrum disorder.

What’s more, this number keeps growing every day, and an increasing number of autistic children are entering school systems.

This gives a new urgency to the need to be well-versed in teaching autistic children.

There are a lot of studies out there when it comes to working with autistic children in classrooms. But it can be hard to identify the methods that truly work.

In this post, we’ll offer the essential tips for providing autistic children with all the tools they need for success in school and beyond.

Read on for insight!

1. Be Informed About Teaching Autistic Children

First things first, when it comes to teaching autistic children, knowledge is power.

It’s important for all educators to understand the fundamentals of autism spectrum disorders and know how to recognize certain behavior.

In fact, it is possible to professionally study the behavior of individuals.

Some school systems will offer educational training sessions to instructors on the autism spectrum and other disorders.

If your school does not offer this, learn more about what autism is. Research how it commonly manifests itself in learning environments, including signs, symptoms, and causes.

You may want to read up on what it’s like to live with autism as an individual.

Talk to family, friends, and coworkers for advice in navigating the wealth of information about autism that’s out there.

2. Simplify Your Language

When it comes to teaching autistic children, it’s essential to pay attention to the language you use when delivering information and tasks.

Use simple and direct language as much as possible. Autistic children respond best to directions that are very clear and free of sarcasm, idioms, and confusing constructions.

This can be tough for some instructors, especially if they are inclined to use a lot of words to convey meaning.

On the whole, however, simplifying your language in the classroom can help make things clear for all of your students.

3. Emphasize Social Skills

Whenever possible, build social skill development into your curriculum. It’s important to reiterate social skills of all kinds with autistic students.

These may include how to wait patiently in line, or how to share crayons with another student.

Be careful not to be patronizing when you do emphasize these social skills. When possible, be holistic in your instruction and teach social skills to all students at once.

4. Check for Understanding

Because the language you use is so important when teaching autistic children, make sure you check for understanding.

The best way to do this is to have an autistic student repeat an instruction back to you.

This is also a great principle to use with students in general. Having students repeat what you’ve instructed them to do is a great way to assess learning progress.

5. Rely on Daily Structure

Just as they appreciate concrete language, autistic children also appreciate predictable daily routines.

Make sure that you give your autistic students a solid daily structure that they can rely on.

Be clear when discussing this structure. If the daily routine ever has to change, give advance warning and make sure the autistic child fully understands the change before undergoing it.

6. Inform Other Students

Teaching autistic children can be difficult, as some children may face bullying and teasing from other students.

Combat this by making sure all of your students are informed about the situation. This is a tip that should be administered delicately, of course.

You may want to spend an afternoon educating your students about learning preferences and behaviors.

This is a great way to introduce the idea that everyone learns best in different ways, and that it’s important to respect these ways.

7. Limit Distractions

When teaching autistic children, limit distractions as much as possible. Autistic individuals can get easily overwhelmed with sensory stimuli.

Try not to play any music in the classroom when teaching. Be wary of brightly colored displays or open windows.

Get comfortable recognizing when an autistic student is losing focus. Develop strategies to regain this focus and minimize any distractions.

8. Go Visual

Many autistic children respond well to visual aids and cues when learning information.

As you deliver a lesson, do your best to use as many visual aids as possible. This may mean incorporating posters, images, and diagrams in your teaching.

To vary things up a bit, check for a student’s understanding by having him/her draw what you meant.

It’s important to enable an autistic student’s creative and visual sides when you are educating. Not only does this reiterate key information to a student, but it also can keep the lesson free of distractions.

9. Be Direct

Whenever you address an autistic student in any capacity, address them as an individual.

Autistic children can quickly tune out when you give cues or information to a large, ambiguous group. They can get distracted or frustrated if they don’t have a clear direction.

Be very direct in your commands, and make sure you address your autistic students by name.

10. Meet Them Where They’re At

At the end of the day, the most important thing to keep in mind when teaching autistic children is to meet them where they are at.

This may mean incorporating your student’s interests into a lesson plan. It may also mean learning how to recognize a particular student’s changes in behavior so you can always be ready to meet their needs.

Get to know your autistic children. Know their habits, likes, and dislikes.

When you demonstrate to your students that you are eager to be on their level and help them grow, they’ll be more likely to positively respond.

Teaching Autistic Children

It can be difficult finding ways to effectively instruct autistic children if you don’t have a good foundation.

Make sure you are informed about what autism is and how it appears in the classroom. Simplify your language as much as possible when working with your autistic students, and always meet them where they’re at.

Limit daily distractions and enforce a predictable, familiar routine to get things done.

How to teach autistic children

How to teach autistic children

Autism is a developmental disability, which can be difficult for children to understand when they witness their peers, family members, or strangers who struggle to communicate verbally or interact socially. Opening up the conversation with your children about autism can bring clarity for them, and aid their compassion for others.

April is National Autism Month, marking it the perfect opportunity to talk with your children about autism. In 2018, approximately 1 in 59 children were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to the CDC.

But discussing autism and other mental or physical disorders with your children can be a tricky and confusing place if you aren’t sure how to start the conversation. Here are a few conversation starters that will make autism more understandable for your child.

If your friend eats the same lunch every day at school, they aren’t boring

How to teach autistic children

Like your kids might be obsessed with playing Fortnite or watching videos on Tik Tok, people with autism often have hyper-focused interests and objects. These could range from food choices to TV shows, singers or bands, and books.

If someone is nonverbal, they are not stupid

How to teach autistic children

An estimated one-third of people diagnosed with autism are nonverbal. Like the spectrum of the disorder, it can vary from person to person how much they are able to speak or use words.

Don’t stare if you see someone doing a repetitive motion

How to teach autistic children

This can be jarring at times to other children who have never seen ‘stimming’ aka self-stimulating behavior before. These repetitive movements can include: jumping, spinning, twirling, finger-flicking, hand or arm flapping, rocking, head-banging, and other complex body movements.

Colleen Wildenhaus, a mother and veteran teacher of students with autism shared additional insight about how to foster acceptance: “As parents, our children are always watching us. Make sure that you are modeling acceptance, understanding, and normalcy at all times when interacting or discussing children who may have atypical behaviors. When children ask questions about the way a person is behaving, it is important that parents answer with honesty and positivity. Make sure to highlight the reasons why a person with autism may have atypical behaviors and why these occur. If you are unsure, let your child know this. Spend time together learning more about autism, learning how and why behaviors occur. The more knowledge a child has, the more apt he or she is to share that information with peers, be less judgmental, and to be more accepting.”

If you switch classrooms, your friend may have difficulty with change

How to teach autistic children

Similar to having honed in interests or ‘obsessions,’ people with autism can have a difficult time coping with changes big and small, as dealing with changes in environment, food, or daily routine can be upsetting.

If you hear someone making noises or repeating words, it isn’t something to make fun of

How to teach autistic children

Whether you hear someone repeating words (echolalia), humming or making other noises while they are ‘stimming,’ it may be because they are having a hard time processing the situation around them, or they do not know how to respond in a conversation.

In addition to these conversation-starters, learning and reading about autism spectrum disorders can also be helpful in aiding their understanding. “Parents can also help children understand more about autism through literature. By reading together, parents and children can learn about behaviors and actions that may arise in children with autism. This opens the doors for honest discussions, where education and understanding take place. These lessons can be applied at school, on the playground, or in the grocery store. Through literature and education, kids learn that children with autism are simply kids just like them with a brain that works in different ways,” adds Colleen.

Looking for more ideas? Check out 15 Great Children’s Books About Autism to get the conversation started.

Still among our most popular advice posts, the following article was co-authored by Autism Speaks’s first chief science officer, Geri Dawson, who is now director of the Duke University Center for Autism and Brain Development; and clinical psychologist Lauren Elder.

How to teach autistic children

For good reason, families, teachers and others want to know how they can promote language development in nonverbal children or teenagers with autism. The good news is that research has produced a number of effective strategies.

But before we share our “top tips,” it’s important to remember that each person with autism is unique. Even with tremendous effort, a strategy that works well with one child or teenager may not work with another. And even though every person with autism can learn to communicate, it’s not always through spoken language. Nonverbal individuals with autism have much to contribute to society and can live fulfilling lives with the help of visual supports and assistive technologies.

Here are our top seven strategies for promoting language development in nonverbal children and adolescents with autism:

  1. Encourage play and social interaction. Children learn through play, and that includes learning language. Interactive play provides enjoyable opportunities for you and your child to communicate. Try a variety of games to find those your child enjoys. Also try playful activities that promote social interaction. Examples include singing, reciting nursery rhymes and gentle roughhousing. During your interactions, position yourself in front of your child and close to eye level – so it’s easier for your child to see and hear you.
  2. Imitate your child. Mimicking your child’s sounds and play behaviors will encourage more vocalizing and interaction. It also encourages your child to copy you and take turns. Make sure you imitate how your child is playing – so long as it’s a positive behavior. For example, when your child rolls a car, you roll a car. If he or she crashes the car, you crash yours too. But don’t imitate throwing the car!
  3. Focus on nonverbal communication. Gestures and eye contact can build a foundation for language. Encourage your child by modeling and responding these behaviors. Exaggerate your gestures. Use both your body and your voice when communicating – for example, by extending your hand to point when you say “look” and nodding your head when you say “yes.” Use gestures that are easy for your child to imitate. Examples include clapping, opening hands, reaching out arms, etc. Respond to your child’s gestures: When she looks at or points to a toy, hand it to her or take the cue for you to play with it. Similarly, point to a toy you want before picking it up.
  4. Leave “space” for your child to talk. It’s natural to feel the urge to fill in language when a child doesn’t immediately respond. But it’s so important to give your child lots of opportunities to communicate, even if he isn’t talking. When you ask a question or see that your child wants something, pause for several seconds while looking at him expectantly. Watch for any sound or body movement and respond promptly. The promptness of your response helps your child feel the power of communication.
  5. Simplify your language. Doing so helps your child follow what you’re saying. It also makes it easier for her to imitate your speech. If your child is nonverbal, try speaking mostly in single words. (If she’s playing with a ball, you say “ball” or “roll.”) If your child is speaking single words, up the ante. Speak in short phrases, such as “roll ball” or “throw ball.” Keep following this “one-up” rule: Generally use phrases with one more word than your child is using.
  6. How to teach autistic childrenFollow your child’s interests. Rather than interrupting your child’s focus, follow along with words. Using the one-up rule, narrate what your child is doing. If he’s playing with a shape sorter, you might say the word “in” when he puts a shape in its slot. You might say “shape” when he holds up the shape and “dump shapes” when he dumps them out to start over. By talking about what engages your child, you’ll help him learn the associated vocabulary.
  7. Consider assistive devices and visual supports. Assistive technologies and visual supports can do more than take the place of speech. They can foster its development. Examples include devices and apps with pictures that your child touches to produce words. On a simpler level, visual supports can include pictures and groups of pictures that your child can use to indicate requests and thoughts. For more guidance on using visual supports, see Autism Speaks ATN/AIR-P Visual Supports Tool Kit.

Your child’s therapists are uniquely qualified to help you select and use these and other strategies for encouraging language development. Tell the therapist about your successes as well as any difficulties you’re having. By working with your child’s intervention team, you can help provide the support your child needs to find his or her unique “voice.”

Responding to violent autistic behavior in toddlers and children requires significant parental considerations. Interspersions, not intensities; will worsen the behavior further for the child. For example, lets take Adam, who likes hit the child next to him in school because he likes to hear the other child’s reaction–“He hit me!” Or, let’s talk about Sophie; who, out of jealousy, throws her classmate’s stationaries off the table and on the ground.

For children with high functioning or borderline autism, it is often the attention they get from being difficult that keeps children into the habit. For parents, the time to act is now! If you don’t intervene today, the problem would only grow, not to mention that there can be another child victimized tomorrow.

While many of you may have taken temporary measures to alleviate this problem, unless you have a longer-term autistic behavior control strategy in place, the child might end up hurting several others and in worst cases, him/herself.

The DO’s and DON’Ts for Handling Violent Autistic Behavior

Ways to minimize such behavior and assuring everyone’s safety requires some specific strategies to be in place. It’s not that you always have to do something; there are certain things you must also refrain from.

The List of DO’s

  • Visual or non-verbal redirections: Gestures/visuals tell an individual what you want him/her to do without use of words. Hold him/her out, wave to gain his/her attention and then send the message to sit down or stand up with your hands. It is commanding without attending to the behavior.
  • Block aggression without engaging: Best way to do this is keeping the individual from being too close to others. Do it without talking or looking straight into his/her eyes. Also, obstruct his/her view to the target with a beanbag, a chair or something else. Keep him in your view and watch covertly to assure safety.
  • Attend the victim: If the child is attacking or teasing other students, keep eyes on the student being targeted. Ask him/her if he/she is OK, fuss over him/her, and pay lots of attention to the child. Ignore the attacking child and talk about the behavior expected from the victim in such cases. Plain ignoring goes a long way.
  • Assuring safety: Don’t sacrifice safety to avoid attention. This may go without saying but it’s important to recognize that sometimes violent autistic behavior is going to escalate and you are going to have to do something to keep a student from running out into the parking lot or hurting another student. Those are times when you will have to intervene, but do it with as little attention as possible.
  • Check your own emotions: That’s tough. Not letting your blood boil with frustration and holding a neutral face is difficult but possible; an expressive face just reinforces an attention-seeking behavior. Keep your calm and don’t involuntarily yell out–when a kid pulls yours or another’s hair all in a sudden. Take a deep breath for that.

The List of DON’Ts

  • Don’t talk (or yell): A child engages in such violent autistic behaviors – even meltdowns – if upset about something. It is often not intentional and those times are not a good time to try reasoning. Language is likely to increase problems furthermore. Being upset makes a person not want to talk to anyone.
  • Eye-contacts are not advised: Keeping an eye for safety and making eye contacts (i.e. looking directly into the eyes of the individual) engages him/her even more and provides the attention which you are trying to cut off. Look off in the distance; look at another direction…anywhere but directly at the child.
  • Avoid touching: Touching an upset individual will only escalate the situation and fights might break out. If it’s only a pretense to gain attention, physical contact provides that. Physically intervention to assure safety, if at all required, must be brief.
  • Don’t discuss the child’s behavior: That’s simply attending to the behavior, because you are talking about it. Instead, talk to other students about what they are doing right and the behaviours expected from them. This way, you’ll send a positive message and remove the attention from the troubled child.
  • Don’t refrain from teaching appropriate ways to gain attention: Behavior is maintained by a counter reinforcement behavior, the replacement skill here will be something that attracts attention appropriately. Reinforcing should be present in addition to teaching the skill (e.g., tapping your arm, using a communication switch). If it turns out to be a more reliable way to gain attention than the violent behavior, then such negative behavior is eventually going to stop.

Additional Resources to Handle Violent Behavior of Autistic Child

We have a lot of resources to handle difficult and/or violent behavior for children with Autism at home and in classrooms. Here are a few:

Hope this post provides you some insight on handling violent autistic behaviors in children; especially those that are related to gaining attention in particular. Even though the focus was primarily on attention-seeking behavior, the use and importance of reinforcements, in general, needs to be understood. It will ensure that all these strategies become useful for any incident involving violent behavior. If you got some more tips to share, please post your comments below.

It is common for parents raising kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to want their children and teens to do everything that their peers are doing. Parents hope their children will have friends, enjoy school, and participate in sports, music and other extracurricular activities. However, when kids with ASD start to get older and are in the midst of puberty and beyond, some parents worry. They may wonder how their children will navigate the complex social realities of adolescence and adult life. While parents might not be comfortable with the thought of their kids with ASD considering intimacy and sex, it is important for parents to recognize that sexual development is inevitable. All kids grow up, whether they have ASD or not. Many adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum want to be in romantic relationships. They want to date, experience intimacy and some may want to get married. In order to make healthier, safer and better-informed decisions related to sexuality, everyone has a right to positive and effective communication and education about this important topic.

Parents can tailor sexuality and relationship education to the specific needs of children on the spectrum and help their kids make good social choices, accept themselves, manage isolation and connect with others in meaningful ways. When teaching about puberty, body changes, reproduction and reproductive anatomy, parents can use the same teaching strategies they have used to teach children other life skills. Some of these strategies may include visual schedules or check off lists, videos, facts in books, anatomically correct dolls, pictures of what is happening to their bodies, stories to predict what might occur, or specific terminology.* Sexual safety and social issues related to sexuality are important for all parents to consider as the primary sexuality educators of their children. Because people with autism are often unaware of social cues and peer expectations, clear, direct education is critical.

Here are some specific tips for parents to think about in the sexual health education of their child:

  • Be proactive. It is important to teach your pre-teen about puberty before their body starts developing so they are not caught unaware and frightened by the changes that occur.
  • Teach about bodies, reproduction, reproductive anatomy and risk reduction.
  • Teach children how to close and lock the bathroom door, use public restrooms and clean and shower themselves.
  • Teach your child about appropriate and inappropriate touching, as well as behaviors that can be done in public and those that are only done in private.
  • Sexuality talks with adolescents who have problems with eye contact may work better if you talk while you are walking side-by-side, preparing a meal together or driving in the car.
  • Enlist the support of a sympathetic young person who is the same age as your child and can help them with language, behavior, and fashion styles and what to do and not do in their peer environment.
  • Do “What if?” scenarios with your child. For example, “What if your period starts at school?” or “What if your get an erection in front of the class?” Together, work out possible solutions to these scenarios.
  • Be aware of any infatuation your child may have with another person. Help them to understand that crushes are normal and okay, just as long as they are not pursued to the point of harassment of another person. Teach your child that healthy, mature relationships are reciprocal and respectful.*
  • *References: Sexuality Resource Center for Parents: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Useful Resources for Parents

Autism-Asperger’s and Sexuality: Puberty and Beyond. Jerry and Mary Newport. Future Horizons, 2002. Written for adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders by a husband and wife team who are both on the autism spectrum.

Freaks, Geeks, & Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence. Luke Jackson, Athenaeum Press, 2002. Written by an adolescent who is on the autism spectrum explaining how he handles his life

The New Social Story Book: Over 150 Social Stories that Teach Everyday Social Skills to Children with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome and their Peers. Future Horizons. C. Gray. 2010.

Taking Care of Myself. A Healthy Hygiene, Puberty and Personal Curriculum for Young People with Autism. Mary Wrobel. Future Horizons, 2003. This is a combination of social stories and activities aimed specifically to address the health and safety needs of people on the autism spectrum. It can also be used with other individuals with disabilities.

Future Horizons, Inc. – World Leader in Autism & Sensory Resources & Conferences

Wrong Planet is the web community designed for individuals (and parents / professionals of those) with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, PDDs, and other neurological differences. Provides a discussion forum, where members communicate with each other, an article section, with exclusive articles and how-to guides, a blogging feature, and more.

How to teach autistic children

Teaching autistic children to read can be quite a feat if it’s done the right way. Would you like to learn how? As parents, our main duty is to give our children the best chance they deserve despite their condition.

This is why it is important for you to learn effective ways to teach your children with autism to read. Please feel free to continue browsing through the text to find out more about some effective techniques on teaching autistic children how to read.

A Healthy Reminder

Before even beginning to teach your child, you have to know more about the condition. You should do your homework on autism and what it entails to properly understand how you can help your child deal with the challenges of reading for the first time.

By arming yourself with knowledge, you will not have difficulty interacting with your child as you teach him how to read eventually. The key here is being as patient as possible. If you’re able to do this, then you will not have difficulty educating your child despite his condition in the long run.

Now that you know some of the important reminders that you should keep in mind when teaching an autistic child how to read, here are some of the additional tips as follows:

8 Tips to Teach Your Autistic Children to Read Properly

1. Teach the Children in an Empty Room

First, you have to make sure that you teach your children how to read in a quiet and peaceful environment. Autistic children are sensitive to sounds so if you want to capture his full attention, it is important that you do it in a silent room, free from distractions.

The library, his bedroom or anywhere else that has sufficient ventilation and space will do. What is important is that you are able to retain his attention by studying in a room that has no distractions.

2. Utilize Books with Pictures

Another way for you to teach your child to read effectively despite his autism is to make sure that you use picture books. Autistic children are normally drawn to pictures instead of words. So if you choose a picture book that has colorful images when reading, you will definitely be able to capture the child’s attention and teach him or her what she needs to learn about the book.

3. Read Books with Heavily Textured Pages

In addition to this, you also have to look for heavily textured books. In this particular instance, a popup will surely be of help. That way the child will be able to touch the pictures and enjoy the experience of reading much more.

Why is this an effective way to teach them? Autistic children are extremely tactile individuals. They like to touch everything that they see. If you use heavily textured books are popups, they will find your activities more exciting.

4. Let the Children Be Mobile

Let the children move around as you teach them how to read. Because children with autism normally have short attention spans, chances are they would have something else capture the attention within their own in just a few minutes. Let them roam around the room and teach them about every object that they see in the room itself.

This way, you will not have difficulty letting them absorb information at their own pace. Do not force them to read if they don’t want to. You will not succeed in your endeavor if you do this.

5. Keep Reading Time as Short as Possible

It would also help you to keep your lessons short. This goes back to autistic children have a short attention span. If you are able to keep your lessons under 5 to 10 minutes, you can be assured that the children will be able to absorb what you are trying to teach them despite their limitation.

6. Make It a Colorful Experience

Make sure that the children would be able to see color everywhere. They love colorful scene objects so it would be best for you to use this to your advantage by providing them with colorful books to read as well.

Additionally, you have to choose a color palette that is not too strong but not too dark either. Pastel colors like beige and yellow will definitely be able to capture the attention of any child whether he is in the spectrum or not. Use this to your advantage and find picture books that have bright colors in them.

7. Read a Book Out Loud

It would also help you to read the book aloud to the child. This way, you will be able to capture the child’s attention and have him look at the book right from the beginning. The key is to capture the attention of the child right away.

In addition to this, you have to be as descriptive as you can when reading the book out loud. This is important because autistic children are visual in nature. They need to imagine what the words are trying to say to be able to understand them fully.

By painting them a picture through your words, you will be able to catch their attention and keep it steady throughout the reading session. Playing soft music while reading can also help them relax. Just make sure that it is not too soft but not too loud either. This would be enough for a quiet afternoon or evening reading session with your child at home.

8. Provide Constant Repetition and Praise

Lastly, you have to make sure that you are able to provide them constancy and repetition. Do not be afraid to repeat the story over and over for them to remember it by heart. This way, when they have the time, they will be able to enjoy reading stories with rhymes all on their own.

In addition to this, you should also allow them to repeat this story as they understood it in their own words. Do not try to correct them harshly if they commit a mistake. Correct them in a nice way and do not forget to give them praise for doing a good job regularly. If you are able to do this, everything else will soon follow for sure.

The most important thing to remember here is that autistic children are just like any other children. If you give them enough love and attention, they will be able to remember that despite their limitations and eventually listen to your every word in the future.

The Final Words

Teaching your autistic child how to read can be quite a challenge especially if you do not know how to begin doing so. However, if you follow the above-mentioned tips right away, I am sure that you will be able to get a grasp of how to effectively teach your child with special needs right away.

All you have to do is be patient and give your child the time to absorb everything that you are trying to teach at his own pace. You will see the result sooner than you would expect for sure.

Articles On Parenting a Child With Autism

  • Parenting Tips
  • Self Care for Parents
  • Preparing Kids for School

As a parent, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about your child’s future. Even more so if they have an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD diagnosis.

Apart from the medical care and therapies that you may line up to help your son or daughter, there are simple, everyday things that make a difference.

1. Focus on the positive. Just like anyone else, children with autism spectrum disorder often respond well to positive reinforcement. That means when you praise them for the behaviors they’re doing well, it will make them (and you) feel good.

Be specific, so that they know exactly what you liked about their behavior. Find ways to reward them, either with extra playtime or a small prize like a sticker.

Also, as you would with anyone — on the spectrum or not — prize your child for who they are. As a parent, loving your child for who they are is key.

2. Stay consistent and on schedule. People on the spectrum like routines. Make sure they get consistent guidance and interaction, so they can practice what they learn from therapy.

This can make learning new skills and behaviors easier, and help them apply their knowledge in different situations. Talk to their teachers and therapists and try to align on a consistent set of techniques and methods of interaction so you can bring what they’re learning home.

3. Put play on the schedule. Finding activities that seem like pure fun, and not more education or therapy, may help your child open up and connect with you.

4. Give it time. You’ll likely try a lot of different techniques, treatments, and approaches as you figure out what’s best for your child. Stay positive and try not to get discouraged if they don’t respond well to a particular method.

5. Take your child along for everyday activities. If your child’s behavior is unpredictable, you may feel like it’s easier not to expose them to certain situations. But when you take them on everyday errands like grocery shopping or a post office run, it may help them get them used to the world around them.

6. Get support. Whether online or face-to-face, support from other families, professionals, and friends can be a big help. Create a village of friends and family who understand your child’s diagnosis.В Friendships may be difficult, and your child will need support in maintaining those friendships.В Support groups can be a good way to share advice and information and to meet other parents dealing with similar challenges. Individual, marital, or family counseling can be helpful, too. Think about what might make your life a little easier, and ask for help.

7. Look into respite care. This is when another caregiver looks after your child for a period of time to give you a short break. You’ll need it, especially if your child has intense needs due to ASD. This can give you a chance to do things that restore your own health and that you enjoy, so that you come back home ready to help.


Autism Society: “Facts and Statistics.”

Working Mother: “Parenting a Child with Autism.”

Autism Speaks: “Assembling Your Team,” “11 Tips for New Autism Parents.”

Pediatrics: “Psychological Functioning and Coping Among Mothers of Children with Autism: A Population-Based Study.”