|Art is a part of humanity, and it's unthinkable to deny a child to the opportunity of creating something beautiful.|
Dear readers, parents, teachers, tutors, Autistic Soccer can empathize that educating autistic children can seem like a challenge at some point. Indeed, it’s often hard enough to educate children without ASD, but to commit into getting and maintaining the attention of a child with autism when trying to teach them about something in which they have no interest whatsoever can seem, at times, nigh on impossible.
Kids with ASD may often require very specialized teaching methods in order to combat sensory issues, difficulties in focusing on certain things, communication issues, and possibly attention deficiency. These problems may lead many to wrongly believe that the child is stupid or unskilled, and a lack of socially interactive skills on the part of the ASD child does nothing to help this prejudice. The common perception is that children who can’t get along with school, can’t get along in the real world.
This can prove to be frustrating for parents who want to ensure that their child gets the best possible education and best possible start in life and thus his future. However, a little patience, understanding, and creativity when it comes to education, can go a long way if it’s done with the heart. The use of art as a teaching tool can have unparalleled effects in opening up an avenue of communication between student and teacher, and in engaging the interest of the pupil.
How Art Can Be Beneficial for Children Living with Autism
Art lessons for children have benefits of both practical and emotional nature. Some young autistic children may more than often struggle with their fine motor skills, for which the simple act of guiding crayons over paper can render a huge and noticeable improvement. However, as well as honing their motor skills, making drawings allows autistic children to communicate thoughts and feelings they may otherwise have a hard time to express. Viewing a child’s drawing opens a window into their interests, preoccupations, and emotions which may go unregarded in a child with ASD, who doesn’t communicate these things in a conventional way, but that doesn’t mean they must go unnoticed at all.
On similar instances, people with ASD can respond in surprisingly positive ways to creative teaching methods. Music, in particular, has been found to engage amazing responses from children with ASD. Many autistic children respond with far more enthusiasm to a music-oriented lesson or with a noticeable rhythm than they would to a more conventional lesson.
Some ASD children like the patterns and rhythms of music or chants (because they have order and harmony, notions that attract them), and these can benefit from, for example, math lessons phrased in rhyme, or chanted. Some other children like the opportunity that music gives to them to engage with others through clearly defined parameters, thus allowing them to socialize. Making music or singing a song with the rest of the class gives the autistic child a part to play, which is predictable and easy to complete yet simultaneously creative, expressive, and most important, inclusive. Making them feel included and important is one of the greatest ways a teacher can ensure that the mind of an autistic pupil is in tune with the class, that their attention is on the lesson and, this is vital, that they are enjoying the lesson.
A Special Note for Our Teachers and Parents
Visual aids can prove to be useful for those teaching autistic children. Those who provide resources for the teaching of autistic children recommend the use of visual aids to help clarify certain concepts which may be confusing for someone with ASD. Autistic children are less likely than other children to just accept the word that their teacher presents when the reasoning behind an action or concept seems incomprehensible.
Visual aids help to illustrate these concepts in an easier fashion, making them seem much more reasonable. This principle can be carried through into the classroom in general as well. Dear reader, here at Autism Soccer we recommend the use of a highly visually defined teaching area to help children get into a “learning” state of mind, and to make clear that you can’t act in this space as you would act at home (setting boundaries and disciple). Many autistic children appreciate clear boundaries and definitions because they bring order to a world they often find chaotic, and there is no more effective way of defining a boundary than through clear visual markers.
As you have read, here at Autism Soccer we care about art, education, and most important, our readers. Follow us on our social networks and don’t hesitate to leave your comments in the section below.
|Not all autistic children despise the texture of paint on their fingers.|
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