Let’s start with a hello
By Wajeeha Fayyaz
Learning is growing and growing is necessary for living. The way Autistic children learn is very different from the rest of us.
Therefore, we have to help them learn the way they are comfortable, and not force our method of learning.
One of the most important skill Autistic children need to learn is “socializing”. Humans are social animals and without interacting with others ‘appropriately’, they cannot live a normal life.
When teaching children with autism one thing that needs to be kept in mind is that every instruction and every concept has to be as visual as possible. When they see visual cues instead of hearing plain instructions, they pick up the concept way more quickly.
Moving forward with this in mind, give them an activity that they would enjoy with other children. Once they have developed an interest in the activity you can start adding interaction with others and that usually starts with saying “Hello”.
Greet someone in front of them to show them exactly how they have to do it.
Once they start copying how you greet someone, you can start adding more questions and statements step by step. However, this should not be extempore.
Write it down first.
Prepare the script.
So that whatever you say in front of them must remain the same every time, and does not change. You don’t want to confuse them while they are learning the skill of socializing.
Every child with autism is different. Every child will learn at their own pace. We just need to be consistent, and patient, while they are learning to talk and interact and one day this hello will grow into life long conversations.