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Top Ten Essential Learning Supports for Autistic Kids!

You asked! So here goes...

  1. Visual Supports: Visual schedules, charts, and cues help autistic kids understand routines and expectations better. Visual aids such as pictures, diagrams, and illustrations reinforce verbal instructions and concepts. They make a huge difference!

  2. Assistive Technology: Providing access to assistive technology like tablets or computers with specialized software can assist in communication, organization, and learning tasks. There are "low" tech options as well, like reading rulers, slant boards, and graphic organizers!

  3. Sensory-Friendly Environment: Creating a sensory-friendly classroom environment involves considering lighting, noise levels, seating options, and providing sensory tools like fidget toys or noise-canceling headphones to help children regulate their sensory experiences. And wouldn't this benefit all kids?

  4. Clear and Concise Language: Using simple and concrete language when giving instructions or explanations helps autistic children understand better. Breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps and providing clear directions for each step can also be beneficial. One-step directions for the WIN!

  5. Individualized Education Plan (IEP): Developing an IEP tailored to the specific needs of the autistic child ensures that they receive appropriate accommodations and support services to help them succeed academically and socially. IEPs should not be "cookie-cutter"; they are individualized for a reason!

  6. Positive Reinforcement: Recognizing and celebrating small achievements and efforts through praise, rewards, and incentives helps build confidence and motivation in autistic children. Some times a simple "You tried so hard on that!" goes a long way.

  7. "Calming Corners" or Break Spaces: Designating a quiet area in the classroom where autistic kids can go to take a break and regulate their emotions can prevent meltdowns and promote self-regulation. We have so many kids, even those who are not autistic, that benefit from a place to "chill".

  8. Peer Support and Social Skills Training: Encouraging peer support and providing social skills training can help autistic children develop friendships, improve social interaction, and navigate social situations more effectively. Kids are so good at supporting each other and being kind!

  9. Flexible Pacing and Structure: Allowing for flexibility in pacing and adapting the structure of activities to accommodate individual needs helps prevent overwhelm and promotes engagement in learning. There are ways to still capture what a kid knows with the right accommodations.

  10. Collaboration with all members of the IEP Team: Maintaining open communication and collaboration with parents and caregivers ensures a consistent approach to supporting autistic children both at school and at home. It also provides valuable insights into the child's strengths, challenges, and preferences. Let's keep IEP meetings kind, collaborative, and cooperative!

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If your kiddo would benefit from any of these supports, they can be included in the IEP.

Need help navigating the IEP and want to grow your knowledge of "what's what"? CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation!

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