Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often struggle in a large classroom setting. A variety of factors such as the language used for giving instructions, a noisy atmosphere, being surrounded by people and an ever changing activity schedule can lead to the child becoming confused, frustrated, or over stimulated.
Whether a child has a form of autism or aspergers syndrome, working with a tutor can benefit children with ASD and help them cope with the larger classroom setting. The ability to learn information is not usually the main obstacle for children with ASD, but rather the social interaction that goes along with the school environment.
Developing social skills with a private tutor
Tutors are trained to use different methods to help children develop acceptable social skills for school. Tutors can review basic skills such as saying please and thank you, learning when and how to share with others and knowing how to respond to questions. By practicing these skills and responses to questions and situations they can then implement these skills at school.
Tutors can teach kids how to recognize emotions
For children who experience difficulty recognizing emotions and expressing empathy towards others, tutors can work with the child to learn what different emotions look like and how to respond to someone who is expressing that certain emotion. Tutors can use flashcards with pictures of faces portraying various emotions to help the child identify the particular mood of the person in the picture. The tutor can then teach the child what to say to someone who is sad, such as “what is wrong?” or “are you okay?”.
Kids with ASD benefit from having a set schedule
Creating a detailed schedule for each day at school will help a child with ASD to avoid confusion. This schedule should be laminated so it can be taken with the child to school. It may be useful to tape the schedule on the child’s desk so that it is visible at all times. If they know what to expect they are more likely to go along with the rest of the class. Tutors can go over the schedule with the child and show them how to keep it with them and refer to it throughout the day. The schedule can include pictures for younger children and children with language delays.
Overstimulation in the classroom? Solution = in home tutoring sessions
Being able to focus and work on assignments while in the busy environment of the classroom can be difficult. In home tutoring provides a quiet, less distracting environment that benefits most children, but especially those on the autistic spectrum. Giving an autistic child a scheduled tutoring session where they can do schoolwork in a quiet, familiar space will help them immensely. Tutors can also give the child tips on how to focus on the paper on the desk rather than looking around the room. This can help the child when they need to focus in the classroom. Arranging for the child to be seated in the front of the classroom can also help free them of the distraction of other children.
Children with high-functioning autism and aspergers may have obsessive behaviors like organizing and arranging objects. If this is a problem in the classroom, the tutor can allow the child to engage in these types of activities after a tutoring session as a type of free-time activity. This can also be suggested to the classroom teacher as a form of rewarding the child for good behaviors.
Going through the education system for children with ASD is not easy, but with the right help and tools from teachers, parents and tutors who are willing to work together, these children can make it through. The sooner a child begins special education tutoring, the more likely they are to develop the social skills they need to succeed in life.