- Create a “Home School” place in your home. Have a table and a place for tools such as papers, writing utensils, etc. A sign that signs “Home School” is also helpful. Remove and replace the sign if the place you use is also used for other things. Teach the language that goes with getting ready for school. “It’s time for “Home School. Where should we go?” Let them show you the place. Read the sign “Yes, this is ____’s home school.”
- Add “Home School” to your visual schedule. Remember to use symbols on the schedule that your child understands (real pictures, real photographs, line drawings, written words). A calendar is helpful to if your child is ready to understand about days.
- Put rules up for “School.” Keep them simple and positive. Some children will enjoy making the home rules with you.
- Keep your language positive as possible. “Look you got number 1 and number 4 right. I bet next time you will get 2 and 3 right too. I’ll show you.” Remember the word “no” is often a trigger for many children and causes them to be upset. There are many ways to give feedback another way. See my blog about other ways to “Say no!”
- Remember to be patient with yourself and your child. Providing instruction at home is harder because there are more distractions and interruptions. When prompts to just try one more don’t work, say “I think we both could use a 5 -minute break.” Turn the timer on a take a little break.
- Schools have a defined beginning and end. Break up learning in small, manageable parts (maybe just 10 problems or 1 page). Timers help define the beginning and end
- Put movement breaks in the schedule. Children should not sit over 20 minutes without a break. It’s a good idea to check sensory and anxiety needs at this time. Calming activities may help like pillow sandwiches, wall push-ups, going up and down stairs, lifting heavy things, tunnels, walking the dog, extra showers or baths. For anxiety, remember deep breathing is good for both of you!
- Sometimes just putting their name in an assignment of a sticker they enjoy helps make the assignment more fun.
- Start the school day with something your child enjoys – easier to get started.
- Finish the school day with something your child enjoys-leaves them wanting more.
Are you trying to figure out what’s best for your autistic child? Family + Knowledge = Power! Parents can address their child’s communication, educational, and behavioral needs after learning the strategies taught in Knowledge Counts Online.
Our online school teaches parents of autistic children what research recommends and what informed professionals use. Try out our Free Visual Supports & Strategies Course and then visit all of our courses at: knowledgecountsonline.com
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