Autism among kids is quite a common phenomenon. Studies among students in North America, Europe and Asia have shown that approximately 1-2% of kids are affected by this disease. These children have a tough time learning, and their career prospects go for a toss, from a very early age. The problem that these students face is lack of attention span and inability to communicate with the tutors. Their repetitive behavior like staring at lights or lining up objects, irritates tutors and they stay away from such kids.
Teaching these special kids is not easy. You need to have a great amount of patience, innovation and temperament to tackle such behavior. In this blog, we will be discussing how a tutor can teach an autistic kid successfully.
Keep The Language Simple
While teaching Special children such as persons with autism keep your instructions simple. Explain things in the most lucid language and make the sessions very interactive. Tutors need to do their homework well and find out methods through which the subject can be made interesting. Use videos to give practical examples of real-life applications. The more you make the class audio-visual, an autistic student will find it easier to remember the subject. This is because our brain can process visuals better and those facing learning difficulties find it easier to handle the content better.
Be Straightforward, Don’t Use Abstract Terms
Special children do not understand abstract terms. Using any non-verbal expression like gestures and facial expressions does not make any sense to them. If you are accustomed to teaching normal kids, then you need to rectify this habit. While teaching a story or poem, tutors tend to modulate their voice and stress on gestures to explain the beauty of the text. Avoid doing it, when an autistic kid is in front of you. Speak straight and keep the explanations direct to the text. Focus on every paragraph, give customized notes, and wrap up the chapters, without going too deep into it. Extensive learning becomes stressful for these children, so keep it short and precise.
As the learning speed will be quite slow, so do not rush towards finishing the syllabus early. Given enough time to the child to grasp the subjects in detail. As a tutor, this is a tough choice to make. That’s because syllabuses are quite huge these days. Going too slow will not even complete 50% of the curriculum and going fast is not an option. So, developing a moderate pace for learning while ensuring that the child can understand the subject is a vital decision that the tutor will have to decide in the beginning. But, if you find that, some chapters are increasingly becoming a burden for the child, skip it. Finish the easier ones first and ensure that at least getting a pass percentage is not difficult.
Distractions are a big turn off for autistic kids. Sound of a bell, smell of perfumes, or a car honking can destroy their concentration level. Special children find it very hard to keep their attention on a particular thing for a long time. It takes time and hence any external sounds break the momentum and this affects the speed of their learning process profoundly. While you are teaching an autistic kid, try to find an isolated space where there is no external disturbance. Soundproof rooms are a must for teaching these children. Don’t do anything out of the box, once the student is comfortable with you. Be predictable and you will be trusted more.
During the class, do some fun activities, if the situation permits. Create a timer, where the child will get to see, time given for each event. Storytelling through pictures, matching halves, creating a flower bouquet can be some enjoyable activities for an autistic child. As a tutor, there is no hard and fast rule that you must behave in a particular way. Think, research and come out with innovative ideas so that your student can think of you as a friend. Depending on the level of disability that the child has, you are free to improvise your teaching methods. At the end of the day, results will speak for itself.
Special children face a lot of stress. This is because students realize that they cannot compete with regular students and are often looked down upon. As a tutor, you must remove any kind of stress that the child is going through. Whenever you are about to change your routine, give them transition warnings, schedules and instructions so that they can feel at ease. Shorter sentences, crystal clear language and a friendly attitude will help the child get accustomed to the new formats. You must remember that any form of transition puts them in a stressful situation. Keep this in mind and set a routine for everything. The more you can eliminate stress; learning will become faster and smoother.
Getting trained tutors who can deal with autistic kids is not easy. But MyFavTutor, a tutor search portal in India, has trained faculties who can deal with autistic kids. The platform gives exposure to all kinds of courses; in case you are a student, visit the website and see the unlimited number of courses available. It’s free for students; in case if you have any requirements, feel free to connect with tutors you like.
Besides, tutors can also teach them social skills. They can tell them how their behavior can affect others’ feelings through a small informal storytelling session. It will help them to rectify their public behavior to a certain extent. Celebrate their success and make them a part of the normal society at large. Do not show unnecessary sympathy; they feel humiliated by those. Speak to them normally and encourage them to take life as it comes to them.