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Easy Lesson Plans That Will Engage Your Child On The Autism Spectrum

by Patricia Sarmiento, publichealthcorps.org

Photo via Pixabay by Floridanana

For children who fall on the autism spectrum, play and learning time can coincide. It's not always easy to decide which lessons to plan for each day, however, especially if you are a parent who is teaching at home. Keeping in mind that your child has special needs when it comes to learning, think about what his biggest challenges are and how you can incorporate those lessons into daily life.

For many kids, consistency is important, so maintaining a similar schedule every day might be important for your family. Write down which activities you'll do on a list and post it for your child to see, including times if that is helpful to him. You might want to include time for art, a section for mobile play, and one for working on language.

Here are a few tips on how to engage your child every day.

Self portrait

Art is a great way for your child to express himself, especially if he's non-verbal or has issues with communication. Give him a piece of paper and a crayon or watercolors, set a mirror in front of him, and have him draw a self portrait. Or, you might have him draw the way he's feeling in the moment, which will help you understand how your child processes emotion.

Learning play

A wonderful way to engage your child in several areas at once is to allow him to ride his tricycle or bike in the driveway or on the sidewalk while you walk beside him. Every now and then, stand in his path so that he either has to figure out a way around you or ask you to move. This will help with communication skills and motor skills as well as encourage motion and critical thinking, and it will also allow him to get outside and exercise.

Dance time

Choose a silly song--preferably one that includes animal noises or movement--and show your child how to mimic the directions. For instance, having your child do the hokey pokey will allow him to follow directions, communicate, and learn alternative methods of self-expression.

Create a nursery rhyme

Teach your child the nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle"; you can use pictures found on the internet to accompany the words. Then, ask him to help you come up with new words to the song. Give him examples by letting him know he can change out certain words, such as replacing "dish" with one of his favorite toys.

Make a group board

Help your child learn how to group things by using printables of different items of clothing, animals, food, etc. and cutting them out individually. Laminate them, then have your child sort the pieces so that like items are in the same group.

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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine

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