Strategies for Staying Focused

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There are several times of year when routines change and adjustments need to be made. These changes can make it difficult for your child with autism to stay focused on school work. These are also times when you will need to remind your child on the spectrum of the guidelines that go along with times of transition.

  1. Try to stay consistent – Your child with autismdepends on a consistent schedule.   Schools often have events such as assemblies, field days, or exams, and many children, who have been diagnosed with autism, find these schedule changes difficult.  Minimize stress and anxiety by altering the schedule as little as possible.  Continue with scheduled lessons and regular individual and group instruction so your child understand that expectations for learning and behavior are still in place.
  2. Educate through scheduled eventsTrips and activities can be exciting events in a child’s life.  These experiences are opportunities for literacy, communication, and art activities.  Work with your child on the spectrum on discussing an event or trip through drawings, visuals, stories, role playing etc. Paln out scenarios, talk to them and show them examples of what they may see, smell, hear; focus on what they can expect from the overall experience.
  3. Develop Strategies for Using Energy – Schedule changes and special events can be exciting for many children.  Provide opportunities for using physical energy such as stress balls, trampolines, or walks so your child with autism can positively focus their energy.

Whenever you know of a planned schedule change; whether it’s a school break, a holiday, day-light savings, family vacation, etc. Make sure you begin preparing your child on the spectrum for the changes in advance. It is very important that your child, on the spectrum knows what to expect whenever possible in order to stay focused.