Many children with autism attend schools, where their teachers or instructors give them homework. There may be times when the child refuses to do his or her homework. How do we get autistic children to do their homework?
The first important task for getting an autistic child to do their homework is to make sure when they begin school, to let them know, that homework is an exciting challenge and they will have homework during their school years. Parents, caregivers, should make a positive game of it.
Do not do their homework for them, even though they have the disorder of autism. Try to hint and direct them by giving them directions, understanding their questions, their homework plan, when the homework is due, and how much they understand or need to prepare for the lessons. Ask questions, such as, "where in this paragraph does it describe flowers, or cars?" "Are there rules for adding numbers?", by giving them directions of questions, it makes them think independently and gives them confidence.
Check in with your individual who has the disorder of autism to see how they are doing, and talk to their teachers on a regular basis. In addition, ask questions from teachers, if they have suggestions on how to get the child to do his or her homework. Encourage them, by telling them that they are doing a great job, when they are getting some or most of the answers correct. Do not make them feel bad or belittle them or dwell on the answers they did not get correct.
Be as positive as possible, no matter what the results are. Sometimes your child will have answers that are seriously wrong. Be kind and encouraging, no matter how many times you might have to go over some of the questions, numerous times, when they forget what you have told them.
Never make your child feel stupid, small, or devalue them. Encourage them to work on their homework a little harder, and they will probably understand it. It may be a slow process, but the individual will eventually grasp it.
Along with positive, reinforcement, it might be wise to give your child rewards, that are tangible along with praise and encouragement. Some examples of rewards are, you may want to put up a star chart, for doing their homework. You can back up the stars with tangible rewards daily or weekly or every other day. The chart does not have to be stars. Be creative, it can be baseball cards, fun stickers, or some special thing your child loves. The reward system of course, depends on the age of the child and the severity of the child with autism.
Getting your child with autism to do their homework can be fun and it will help you learn also. Be patient, persistent, loving and kind. Remember, never call your child, slow, stupid, idiot, or compare them to their brothers or sisters, who do not have the disorder of autism or to anyone else.
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