Learning Styles

The education of autistic children in the mainstream classroom presents a range of challenges, teaching in a multi-dimensional way will allow for greater inclusion of autistic children.  As teachers, we are aware that our students have individual learning styles:
Visual  - learn best through diagrams, seeing demonstrations
Auditory - learn best through listening
Kinesthetic - learn best with a 'hands-on' approach

These learning styles can also be applied to autistic children.  While a child without autism may display learning styles that fall into two of these categories, an autistic child normally inhabits one.  Therefore careful observation needs to be undertaken by teachers to see which style suits best (Teaching Autistic Children, 2011)

Autistic children can be very adept with the use of technology so the addition of ICTs (digital media) into the classroom increases the opportunity to tailor lessons that enhance whole class learning, creating a mutlidimensional classroom.

Use Existing Abilities
- Austistic children may have writing difficulties, let them use computers when possible to complete tasks.  Other talents like music or art abilities can be adapted into learning activities example role plays for comprehension as some autistic students struggle with reading and writing concepts.

Motivation - Autistic children can sometimes become fixated on one thing and this may be used to engage a student.  For example, if a child loves trains incorporate this into lesson planning. Example, research trains on the internet, draw pictures of trains etc.

Manipulatives - As most autistic children are visual learners, maths and literacy concepts may be difficult to grasp.  The use of interactive aids such as blocks or the interactive whiteboard may enhance learning.

Avoid Distractions - An autistic child is easily distracted, keep unnecessary noise to a minimum, or perhaps seating the child away from overly 'enthusiastic' students may be a consideration

(McGee, 2006-2011)