Parents are often at their wit’s end to understand what works for the learning of their autistic child. There are so many suggestions and ideas floating around, making it quite a chaos in their mindscape. After all, they have to pick the right one and their decision will have a profound impact on how their child’s future shapes up. The need to take the right decision, without any scope for making mistakes, makes the choice hard. In this post, Shruti, the division of Bengal Speech that deals with children with learning disabilities, looks at some long-term learning benefits for autistic children.
The most important idea to keep in mind while developing a plan to improve long-term learning benefits in autistic children is that there is no one blanket that can cover everyone! Autistic children differ from each other, just like any other kid will be different to the others. That makes it imperative for parents to ensure that they are not following a learning process because they have heard or read about its success elsewhere.
An expert at Shruti tells us, “You must try out your learning process on the child and check for changes.” It may work well for your child or may fall flat. The important thing is to keep trying different methods till you hit the right one.
The second most important concept here is that parents must not be over-ambitious. Autistic children take time to learn, or even adapt to a new learning process. The process has to be started with simple steps like teaching how to brush teeth or clean oneself, before proceeding to other tasks like learning the alphabets, etc. When the child is able to perform simple tasks, it soars the confidence in them. Teach them table manners and other behavioral matters and if you find it working out, move on to more complicated actions and tasks.
When you are trying to teach to an autistic child, it is best to consult a professional. We have a number of experts on our team in Shruti who have years of experience in teaching and dealing with autistic children with severe or moderate learning disabilities. They often talk about how important it is to give proper guidance to the child and break those down into smaller chunks of practical advice. Because each child is different, they need to be treated differently as well. Moreover, their experience gives them clear indication as to when they should be firm on the child and when to indulge them. As a parent, you cannot be firm when you know that it might cause pain to the child. You need to leave it to the professionals to take care of it.
The long-term learning benefits need to have a goal. And this goal has to be a realistic figure. You may have to modify the goal as you move forward in the process. Whatever you do, do not push the child into a territory where they feel scared of the learning process.