Helping A Child With Autism Find Success at School

Many children with autism attend school and the number is rising.  It has been noted in studies that numerous children with autism are quite successful in school and do well with the right supports.  If your child has autism – especially high functioning autism – and school is a possibility in your child’s future, the following information will be helpful in helping you to support them.

When trying to determine your child’s classes, think about putting them in classes that will gradually move them into group social situations and not do it all at once.  Also, try to put them into classes that would be interesting to them.  For instance, a gym class might not be best for starters due to the social pressure it might put on your child.  However, an art class might be a great beginning because, for the most part, your child could concentrate on his or her own work.

Helping your child by providing an individual aide to help with assignments, navigating classes, keeping paperwork organized and such, would likely help your child not to feel overwhelmed. Having another student as a pal who could sit with them at lunch and at other unstructured times could help your child be less overwhelmed.   Also, creating structured situations for interactions with others, possibly within the confines of a game-playing situation, would be a good way to help expand social skills.

As for books and assignments, even the most organized students without any barriers get confused from time to time.  If your child has a three ring binder that has a notebook or folder for each class in it, this might help them keep assignments straight.  Books are a little more difficult, so arranging for a set of books to keep at home and a separate set to keep at school is often quite helpful.  This way, your child won’t have to remember which books to take home because they will all be there to begin with. 

Daily schedules and checklists help keep your child organized.  Since most of us rely on these things to get through our days or weeks, it is logical that our children would be greatly assisted by them as well.  Each task, school class and item should be individually written.  If you want your child to clean his or her room, listing each item, such as make your bed, throw out trash, vacuum, etc. will help the child focus and not become so overwhelmed.

Counseling, communication coaching, and learning strategies to deal with stress or anger are all ways that your child can be more successful at school.  There are other ideas that can be added to these basics, as well.

Children with autism have been extremely successful when they have the appropriate supports in place.  The supports contained here should help create a sound foundation for your child in school.

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