According to Autism Speaks, 1 in 68 children are on the autism spectrum. More and more children are being fully included in traditional classrooms. As a teacher, you may be increasingly expected to provide a successful learning environment for children on the autism spectrum while you simultaneously ease the concerns of families, help anxious children cope, and manage all your students’ needs. Take a look at these simple strategies to help children who are on the autism spectrum be successful in your classroom.
- Post a schedule. Children who are on the autism spectrum may have difficulty transitioning from one activity or class to the next. If they have a daily schedule, they will know what to expect in their day and will cope with changes better. Check out the Daily Schedule Pocket Chart to display your day.
- Prepare for changes. Immediate transitions can be jarring. Give students a warning when time is winding down. Time Trackers are a great option to help with this. They have lights that change from green to yellow to red to give visual cues for time remaining. Optional sounds can also be activated for an auditory “heads up”.
- Use Literal language. Children who are on the autism spectrum have difficulty processing language—and figurative language is especially confusing. If it’s “raining cats and dogs” they expect to see cats and dogs falling from the sky. Choose words that are direct and explicit when giving directions, explaining lessons, or talking with the class.
- Give sensory breaks. . Many children on the autism spectrum have sensory processing difficulties. They either are hypo–sensitive or hyper–sensitive, meaning their bodies need a lot more stimulation from their environment or are bothered by sensory stimulation that others can tune out—such as the hum of fluorescent lights, the mixture of smells from different deodorants and perfumes people are wearing, or the feeling of scratchy clothing tags and material. They may need time either to relax in a sensory-soothing room with low lights and little stimuli, or gain deep pressure stimulation by jumping on a rebounder trampoline or running outside on the playground. Either type of whole body activity can help center and ground children to better focus.
- Provide fidgets. Lots of students bounce their knees or tap their pencils. This actually helps them stay focused on what the teacher is saying. Make sure kids have a way to fidget that is not disruptive to the rest of the class. Give them a small rubber trinket or a few counters to fiddle with in their pockets. There are lots of fidget toys on the market that are small, uniquely shaped, and quiet when moved around.
About Learning Resources
By unleashing their imaginations, children learn problem solving and practice real–life skills, helping them grow up to be creative thinkers. At Learning Resources® our mission is to provide high-quality and innovative products that provide fun and engaging learning opportunities for children as they explore, discover their world and develop their creative side. Our award–winning educational toys, learning toys, discovery toys, and teaching tools are designed by educators and have been beloved by teachers, parents and children for over 30 years.
Give the little learners in your life more than a toy. Learning Resources toys are designed to foster the development of key skills for children of all ages. Our extensive selection of learning toys & games is perfect for promoting hand–eye coordination, early numeracy skills, letter recognition, critical thinking and imaginative play.
Learning Resources is an international company headquartered in Vernon Hills, IL.
- English Language Arts
- Geography/Social Studies
- Early Childhood
- Imaginative & Role Play
- Discovery & Exploration
- Games & Puzzles
- Critical Thinking
- English Language Arts
- Classroom Kits
- Skill Development
- Learning Styles
- Autism Spectrum
- Teacher Resources
For Your Classroom
- Classroom Activities
Tips for Your Classroom
- 10 Tips for Making Science Cross-Curricular
- 10 Tips for Using Reading Games
- 10 Tips to Organize Classroom for maximum Efficiency
- 5 Ways to Liven Up Student Response
- Overcoming Common Core Fears
- Demystifying Informational Text
- Cross-Curricular Math Tips that Rock
- Start the Year Off Right
- Build a Strong and Successful Common Core Classroom
- Tips and Tools to Help Your Students
- Tips to Add STEM into your Classroom
- Strategies to Support the Autism Spectrum in Your Classroom
- Starting Out With Math Manipulatives
- Setting Up for Classroom Success
- 6 Tips to Support Self Esteem in your Students
- 11 Tips for Spelling Success
- STEMify Your Speech. STEMify Your Class!
- Simple Technology Activities
Learning At Home
- Ready, Set, Learn!
- Bored No More
- Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences
- Getting Involved
- Getting Your Child Ready For School
- Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits
- Traveling with Kids?
- Cool Summer Learning
- Progress Check
- The Power of Imaginative Play
- Teacher Gifts that Keep Giving
- The True Value of a Toy
- Personality Presents
- 10 Tips to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions Strong All Year Long
- Making Memories
- Family Game Night
- Discover STEM
- Top 10 Product Picks for Kids with Autism
- Top Picks for Summer Learning for Kids with Special Needs
- Outdoor Learning, Outdoor Fun
- Plan for Summer Learning
- Tips to Help Kids Start the School Year Strong
- 5 Questions to Ask at Open House
- Halloween Treats
- Science Fairs: Simple Steps to Success
- Halloween Costumes
- Halloween Party – Mad Scientist Mania
- Parent-Teacher Conference: 7 Questions Moms & Dads Need To Ask
- The Present Personalizer: A Guide to Picking Gifts By Personality
- Special Holidays, Special Needs: 10 Tips for Moms!
- Thinking About Critical Thinking
- Autism in the Classroom
- Tips for Intervention's "First Responders"
- Decorating Your Classroom
- Using Manipulatives in Reading Intervention
- Help ELLs See the Big Picture
- Research on the Benefits of Manipulatives
- Embrace Technology for Assessment
- Blaze New Paths to Understanding
- What is STEM?
- Product Information
- Product Videos
- Bonus Content
- Activity and Coloring Pages