It’s often easier to do something for a child on the spectrum than to have them do it for themselves, but learning responsibility is an important step on the way to independence and it is important for a child that has been diagnosed with autism to learn how to do things for themselves in order to build confidence, adapt to their environment, and engage properly with their peers.
Here are some ways to help your child on the spectrum learn the importance of responsibility.
Use pictures or drawings of items and tape them in specific locations around the house to remind children where things belong.
Provide easy way for your child on the spectrum to organize their belongings. A storage bin, or mat for their shoes, and a toothbrush holder, soap holder and cup in their bathroom so they know here to place their personal hygiene items. All areas should be accessible when the child is standing on the floor or on a step stool so they can be responsible for putting their own items away.
Make sure your child, who has been diagnosed with autism, has a way of organizing their work space. Create an outline of the location where each object belongs on their desk Let your child on the spectrum know where to find and return their notebooks, pencils, crayons, and other school materials. Clearly defining areas is important for kids to independently locate and return writing and working materials.
Make sure your child with autism has an easy and effective way of organizing their school materials, such as their book bag.
Give children the resources they need to organize their papers, pencils, and other school supplies. Folders are a way to keep papers sorted by subject. Be sure to use folders with pockets that are secure and provide enough space for necessary pages. Label notebooks and use different color books for different subjects. Make a weekly routine to review your child’s folders with them and eliminate unnecessary papers and start off a new week prepared and organized.
Teach your child easy ways to keep their room clean and put away their clothes. Make sure they understand that dirty clothes go into a laundry bin, teach your child on the spectrum how to hang and fold their clothes. Try to make their shelves and closets accessible to them. If they are too small to reach these items, or you fear they are not capable of such a task, work them to place all clothes that need to be hung up neatly in one pile and fold the clothes that need to go into their dresser in another pile and then you can put the items away for them, until they are old enough, tall enough, or responsible enough to do it on they own.
As adults, we use strategies to organize our lives, providing children with similar strategies helps organize their environments and promotes independence. Although we try and help our children who have been diagnosed with autism organize by reminding them to put their things away, many children often need examples and support to succeed at organizing their lives.
Monthly Archives: January 2017
It’s often easier to do something for your child on the spectrum, but it’s always better to teach them how to do things for themselves. When you empower them to be responsible you bring them one step closer to being independent.
Here are some tips on how to help your child with autism get organized.
1. Put things in their place– Use pictures or drawings of items to remind your child with autism where things below. This includes items like toys, shoes, clothes, dirty dishes, backpacks, school work, books…the list goes on and on. Cut out pictures of specific items and tape them on shelves, toy boxes, cabinets, closet doors etc so that your child on the spectrum knows exactly where things belong. Pictures and labels can be used both inside the house and outside in the back yard for optimal organization around the entire house.
2. Room Origination – Sometimes further origination is needed in specific rooms. The bathroom is a good example of this. It is always a good idea to use toothbrush, soap, cup, and toothpaste holders to reminder where things belong. IF this reminder isn’t strong enough, images or signs work very well also. It is important to teach your child on the spectrum where things live, for example, towels should be on a towel rod or ring, toilet seat should be put down, etc. Make sure that all areas are accessible to your child with autism when they are either standing on the floor or on a step stool so that they can be responsible for putting their own things away.
3. Desk Organization – To make sure that your child on the spectrum is organized when it comes to school work, it is important to teach them the best ways to organize their desks at home. When their desks are organized they spend less time looking for the supplies they need and more time focused on their homework or extra curricular work outside of school. Create signs, pictures or outline the locations of where their desk objects belong. Please these signs or images on top of the desk and on each drawer so that your child can return each item they use to it’s proper place after they finish using it.. When you clearly define specific areas for specific supplies you give your child on the spectrum the independence they need to get their own supplies out and put them back without your help.
4. Backpack Organization – It’s important to give your child the resources they need to organize their school supplies In their backpacks so that they are most efficient when arriving and leaving school. When their backpack is organized they spend less time looking for their homework, paperwork, and supplies needed to complete an assignment. Folders are a great way to keep papers sorted by subject. Another good organization trick is to label notebooks and use different color books for different subjects. A backpack with a special pocket for pencils, pens, markers, erasers etc., is always best, but if you can’t find one, make sure to supply your child with a pencil box for these items so they can keep them all together in one place. Work with your child with autism to make a weekly routine of going through their backpack to get rid of any unnecessary paperwork or materials so that they can stay organized.
By providing your child on the spectrum with key organizations skills will help promote their independence and lead them to live a more structured lifestyle
Children on the autism spectrum can learn many valuable skills through play. Each game, whether it is a board game, puzzles, group games, or organized sports, lends itself to life lessons that will benefit many children that have been diagnosed with autism.
Here are some of the important lessons that playing will teach your child:
Listing and following directions – All games have rules that need to be followed and if these rules are ignored, then there are consequences such as disqualification or ridicule from others. By playing board games or participating in organized sports, your child on the spectrum will learn to follow directions, take turns, share and learn how to play well with others.
Social Skills – Important social skills can be learned and practiced through games and play. These are skills that are essential for developing friendships and learning to work with others. Teaching your child that has been diagnosed with autism to be kind, play fair, shake your opponent’s hand, use eye contact when speaking to others, and to collaborate with others while playing a game or working on a project, are valuable lessons your child can carry with them throughout their lives.
Academics – Games are a great way to get your child on the spectrum to learn to read, count, add, subtract, learn to put things in sequences etc. Whether the actual game is educational or not, you can turn any game into a source of learning. Have your child read the rules of the game out loud, have them count game pieces or cards, dots on dice or the number of times they throw a ball etc. All of this is practice that is crucial in learning important academic skills.
Problem Solving – Building blocks, sports and many board games give children the opportunity to learn problem solving skills. When you give your child on the spectrum the opportunity to try things on their own before providing them assistance they will learn to figure out how to overcome struggles.
Conflict Resolution – Games are a great way to teach your child conflict resolution skills. Many times your child on the spectrum will get frustrated when they lose a game or when they don’t get their way. By teaching your child the importance of team work, listening to others and taking deep breathes to calm themselves before allowing their emotions to get the best of them, you help your child on the spectrum establish order and manage/resolve conflicts.
There are so many great skills your children can learn from playing. So now that you know how much your child on the spectrum can learn from playing games, go enjoy some quality time with your children and see how much they will learn and grow through games and organized sports.