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Simple And Effective Autism Modifications For The School Aged Child

Apr 12, 2008
When a child has special learning needs, it is important to make the right modifications in the classroom, at home, and during other times of learning and education. Keep in mind that learning isn't just something that happens at school with teachers and textbooks. Learning and understanding come from every part of life, and with the right autism modifications, it can be at its most effective for your child.

There are five primary autism modifications that can help your autistic child get the most out of his or her own potential. These include:

- Visuals - as autistic children commonly achieve their best learning when visual aids are used, they should be among the modifications made to ensure an effective learning environment. Visuals can include:
- An individually tailored visual daily schedule that illustrates the day's activities.
- Visual highlighting of important points made throughout lessons through the use of cards of picture books etc.
- Color coding for relevant and important information i.e. Red for work time and blue for playtime.
- Directions and sequencing through visual cues such as picture cards
- Visual signs for making activity endings obvious.

- Assessment and evaluation of sensory needs - Once an evaluation has been completed, suitable sensory activities should be scheduled into each day. Such sensory activities may include:
- Chair push ups
- Swing-sets and monkey bars
- Carrying heavy objects and light objects to different designated locations via designated routes
- Biting, crunching, sucking, chewing, and blowing with food, bubbles, etc.
- Fidget toys
- Always making appropriate modifications for temperature, lighting, sounds, and smells
- Exercise every day

- Environmental modifications could include:
- Limiting potential for distractions in work areas and at home
- Having close proximity to instruction area and materials
- Setting visual boundaries where necessary with screens or curtains etc
- Learning areas made obvious through seating and furniture arrangements, masking tape, carpet squares, etc.

- Consistency - Make sure any modifications, techniques or teaching strategies are consistent between the classroom and home. This includes methods of scheduling the day's activities, and forms of communication. This consistent approach should be applied to as many different environments as possible, so children know what is expected of them at any given time.

- Build Social and Emotional Strength - Give the autistic child activities that are specifically designed to support social and emotional skills. These skills should be a serious focus at home and at school. These are the skills that will be essential for your child's daily life and functioning throughout childhood and adulthood. It will likely be among the most challenging subjects for your child so it is important not to underestimate the impact social and emotional development and skills can have.

Beyond autism modifications in the classroom, there are many other things that you can do to help your child to function and adapt to life's demands. However, no matter what you choose for your child, you must make sure that the decision is based specifically on your child's unique symptoms of autism and their needs. Discuss any decisions with your doctor, specialist or therapist for further expert advice.
About the Author
Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans' brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you and your family find out about effective autism modifications to help with schooling and family life.
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