Guest Post by Haliyma Barrow.
Autism is a condition that affects children in all social and psychological aspects. Special programs must be designed for the early education of children suffering with this developmental disorder.
About 10 children in every 100,000 are afflicted with this condition and it prevents them from interacting socially with other children their age. There is a 33 percent higher chance of boys being afflicted with autism than girls.
Early education of children with autism is very important, since this condition manifest when the child is young and has not yet started going to school. Autism in young children manifests in a variety of ways, but mainly through the lack of communication and the repeating of actions.
Autism can be overcome if the child is diagnosed early and put through early education. There are schools that are specially structured so that they can deal with children who have autism. Behaviors and manners are taught to the children through repetitive instruction.
Such programs are designed to keep the child’s mind occupied all the time. Therefore, there are no episodes where the child retreats into the classical autistic behavior. This means that the teachers should be at hand at all times and the children should be encouraged to do activities together, in turns, so that some are performers while the rest are observers. The trick is to keep the mind of the child focused on every day activities and little time is allowed for the child to retreat into an autistic state.
Early tutoring of autistic children should include instructions using visual aids. Children with autism usually develop their thoughts according to the images that they capture in their minds. A teacher can use toys or cards to teach the children how to communicate. Pushing a toy car and making it turn to the left is a good way of teaching the child about the word “left.” The same case goes for the word “right.” The teacher can attach cards to the toy with the words spelt out so that the child learns the spelling of both words.
The education for autistic kids should also adopt teaching methods such as communicating in short structured sentences. Long sentences will only serve to confuse the child further. If the autistic child can read, then it is best to put long instructions down on paper.
Under an early education program teachers should be able to identify the talent of the autistic child and allow them to develop these gifts. Autistic children can become fixated on one of the subjects taught at school and excel in it. This talent should be nurtured as a means of keeping the child connected to the surroundings. Such children have been known to become great artists and computer engineers.
Autism can be difficult to manage therefore teachers and parents should be patient during the early education process. With constant, firm instructions these children have been known to successfully overcome the condition and increase their social interaction.
This is a guest article contributed by Haliyma Barrow, a freelance journalist and writer living in New York. Haliyma regularly covers child health issues such as discussing skin care products for children.