How does a Spectrum kid learn best?
They have these amazing strengths which, when you teach to them, may very well cause you to have to run to keep UP rather than teach ahead!
Ask yourself: What does he really like?
Most ASD kids have certain things they tend to obsess over. What may be a hobby to a neurotypical child becomes an all-encompassing passion or even obsession in the Spectrum child.
These also tend to be areas where they are very strong and have natural skills and aptitude. For example, my son loves reading science books and magazines, watching Dr. Who, and playing Minecraft and Portal. He can talk science or nerd games all day long.
When a kid is really into something, be it history, science, video games, or one particular hobby such as RC airplanes or painting, you can use it to generate interest and lessons for other subjects. They may really benefit from unit study style teaching, because when other things are tied with their passions, they become extensions of the main subject.
It is easier to teach something they already have some background knowledge of.
My son’s Minecraft obsession is definitely fueled by his extreme interest in science, and again his science interest is fueled by all of the different tasks in Minecraft.
But HOW do they learn?
In their own time, under their own set of circumstances. I may WANT my son to take Physical Science at co-op, and it makes sense because he LOVES science and especially physics-related experiments, right?
The reality is that he simply cannot do the homework. He CAN’T. He loves the book. Loves the experiments. And cannot do the work. We are using a project based Physical Science program instead and he’s doing fantastic with it because he can just DO IT.
Let your child lead when it comes to learning. With the strong areas, you will always have a WIN if you let him lead it. We will also discuss trouble areas in future posts this month.
What does your Spectrum kiddo obsess about? Where do his natural abilities really shine?