How to help kids with autism to work independently.

I am going to start this post with an important question we all parents of kids on the spectrum ask ourselves how can I help my child to work independently.

 Independence is a very important life skill and a common goal for all kids on the spectrum be it in terms of self-help skills or working independently for a few minutes without adult intervention at home or in the classroom.

We are amid the pandemic and at this time no one knows how the new school year will be. Is it going to be a mix of in-class and distance learning? 

So if this is something you want to help your child with now is the best time to start working on this skill with our kids so they can feel successful when they go back to school. This is a work in progress and something you will need to practice daily with consistency for our students to be successful and motivated to do so. 

Start small as always when you are working with your child on a new skill for them to feel successful. If that means you can start with them able to work independently even for 30 seconds or a minute that is okay. 

They can be rewarded with something they like after they complete the activity. Always try to give them a reinforcer after they have completed the activity.

I personally struggled with this with my son as he was having trouble working independently in school. I must stress here the environment in school vs home is very different. I wanted to help my son.

 The most important thing we need to remember is we want our kids to work on a mastered activity for them to be successful. We want an activity with a clear beginning and end. I started working at home with my son with 1 activity with a short duration of a minute. 

We practiced this every single day for a few weeks. I was able to overtime fade myself from the proximity and over time he was able to work on a few activities successfully.

I was getting notes from his teachers daily on how he was struggling with independence in the classroom. It was making me frustrated as to why he was not able to transfer this skill to school even though he was successful at home

. So we arranged a meeting with my son's teachers. I took about 5 to 7 activities to the meeting which my son had already mastered. I arranged the activities on the table and one after another Aarian completed them without any trouble

. The teachers were truly surprised as that was the first time that had seen him working independently without any assistance. 

I have to thank his teacher as she knew from that instance he was capable of doing so much more than they had observed in the classroom. We worked together as a team to help him. The teacher pushed him as they knew his capabilities.

In the next post, I will be sharing some tasks and activities which I use with my son to work on his independence skills. I hope you all like this post do comment and let me know if you have any suggestions on how you work on independence with your students or children so we all can learn together.


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