Friday, June 21, 2024

How To Support A Child With Autism In Nursery

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Case Study: Javid Age Four Years

Young people in Scotland create garden to help children with autism

Javids parents had been concerned about his development since he was 18 months old, particularly because he didnt start to develop language. He also seemed very distant, as if he was unaware of other people. His play was repetitive: lining up cars or spinning their wheels endlessly. When Javid reached the age of two his family health visitor referred him for assessment at the local child development centre.

Following an assessment involving a paediatrician, educational psychologist, teacher and speech & language therapist, Javid was given a diagnosis of autism.

Javids entry to nursery at the age of three was planned carefully and staff were given advice and support by a specialist teacher. Despite this planning, it was soon clear that Javid became upset at less-structured times of the day. A simple picture timetable was introduced. At first this was just two pictures emphasising: first this then that. By the time he went to school, Javids timetable had a series of five pictures on it.

Javid could vocalise, but he still had no spoken language. The speech & language therapist helped to introduce the Picture Exchange Communication System . This helped Javid begin to initiate communication with adults in the setting he could hand over a picture to request things. In time, he would vocalise to gain the adults attention before making his request. By the time he went to school he had developed, and was using, a few single words.

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Helpful Strategies For Autism In Preschool Classrooms

Preschool is a great time for children to work on social skills, following directions and routines, and pre-academic skills, such as colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. Children with autism typically lack the appropriate social skills and interactions that typically developing children exhibit. By integrating your child with autism into preschool, they can work on and improve their social skills. Here are some strategies that can assist your child with autism in the preschool classroom:

Helping Your Child With Autism Thrive Tip : Provide Structure And Safety

Learning all you can about autism and getting involved in treatment will go a long way toward helping your child. Additionally, the following tips will make daily home life easier for both you and your child with ASD:

Be consistent. Children with ASD have a hard time applying what theyve learned in one setting to others, including the home. For example, your child may use sign language at school to communicate, but never think to do so at home. Creating consistency in your childs environment is the best way to reinforce learning. Find out what your childs therapists are doing and continue their techniques at home. Explore the possibility of having therapy take place in more than one place in order to encourage your child to transfer what he or she has learned from one environment to another. Its also important to be consistent in the way you interact with your child and deal with challenging behaviors.

Stick to a schedule. Children with ASD tend to do best when they have a highly-structured schedule or routine. Again, this goes back to the consistency they both need and crave. Set up a schedule for your child, with regular times for meals, therapy, school, and bedtime. Try to keep disruptions to this routine to a minimum. If there is an unavoidable schedule change, prepare your child for it in advance.

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Get Support When You Need It

Life with a young child with autism can be overwhelming. So it’s important to take breaks and ask for help when you need it. This may be hard to do at first, but it will allow you to devote more time and energy to your family.

So, ask a family member for help with things like laundry or meal planning. Trade off with your partner watching your child so that each of you can get much-needed “me time.” Hire a sitter who feels comfortable caring for your child or consider respite care so that you can go out for a night.

Taking time for yourself can help you recharge. You’ll come back to your child ready for fun, love, and all that parenthood has to offer.

Supporting Autistic Learners Within The Early Years Of Broad General Education Phase

Autism Awareness in early years

The early years setting includes a focus on play-based approaches which may be difficult for a child who appears to have social communication difficulties or has been identified with autism. Understanding, support and differentiation in teaching styles and approaches will be needed and shared between home and early years setting/school to minimise difficulties the child may have in accessing the curriculum and engaging with their peers.

  • Work in partnership with the family
  • Use simple language
  • Be literal
  • Keep routines consistent
  • Give plenty of warning about any change
  • Use visual cues to help communication and understanding
  • Tell your child what they should do, not what they shouldn’t
  • Identify triggers and try altering the environment to reduce the likelihood of further triggers
  • Ensure the classroom is an inclusive environment
  • Use visual cues to help communication and understanding
  • Some situations will require additional planning in advance. For example:
  • Wet playtimes,

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Effective Teaching Strategies For Children With Autism

In some cases, the learning characteristics of students with autism may differ from the rest of your class. But luckily, the right teaching strategies and methods can keep children with autism on track to finish the school year strong. Try these tips, educational accommodations, and resources for students with autism to help them learn concepts that might otherwise be difficult for them to grasp.

Knowing How To Ask For Help

Strong support systems are key for people with learning disabilities. Successful people are able to ask for help when they need it and reach out to others for support.

  • Help your child nurture and develop good relationships. Model what it means to be a good friend and relative so your child knows what it means to help and support others.
  • Demonstrate to your child how to ask for help in family situations.

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Teach To The Students Abilities And Interests

Autisticchildren, like all children, need to feel familiar and comfortable in theirsurroundings. This can take time, so dont embark on your teaching withoutample and appropriate preparation, says Tonya Roman, a teacher at Academic Brits and the Ph.D. Kingdom.

After educating yourself about the child, make sure to identify their strengths, weaknesses, skills, interests, and obsessions. Factor this knowledge into your classroom approach to give them the best learning opportunities. Knowing things they like may help in providing positive rewards. Knowing things they dislike may help in avoiding meltdowns.

Strategies To Help Children Cope With Autism

Sensory Garden | One Life Autism Support Group

Accurate knowledge is vital in understanding autism and how to help children who have it. Use trustworthy resources, such as the one shared under our Free Resources tab, to learn about autism, its challenges and treatments, and how to help a child with autism be successful in school and in life. Remember that an early diagnosis and consistent support can give children with autism a better chance at a successful future. We’ve based the following strategies on information from Dr. Clarissa Willis’ My Child Has Autism: What Parents Need to Know and Teaching Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Check out those two books for more information about any of the topics and strategies below. We hope you can implement these 16 strategies at home and in the classroom to help children cope with autism:

  • Identify what triggers strong reactions or meltdowns A small schedule change or being in an unfamiliar situation are just two examples of something that can trigger a strong reaction or meltdown in a child with autism. After a strong reaction or meltdown occurs, it’s important to evaluate the child’s surrounding environment by taking into account any recent changes and keeping track of what was happening when the strong reaction occurred. Keeping notes on each child’s reactions and the possible triggers can help you address those issues and possibly find a pattern in what triggers have the biggest influence on each child.
  • Use indirect lighting or a softer overhead lighting
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    Find Out About Health Coverage

    Therapy to help with the symptoms of autism can help kids thrive, but not all are covered by insurance. Coverage depends on your state and it’s not always easy to figure out.

    Here are ways to learn what is covered:

    • Talk to a social worker on your care team to learn about special programs available to your child.
    • Search online for tools that take the guesswork out of health coverage. Some national autism organizations provide helpful quizzes and other tools to learn what’s covered in your state or health care plan.

    If you don’t have insurance, your state’s CHIP or Medicaid programs may offer coverage to your child. Medicaid also may be able to offer extra coverage if your health insurance doesn’t cover all expenses. Coverage is based on your child’s disability and need, not on your family’s income.


    What Is The Role Of Early Care And Education Providers

    While diagnosing and providing specific interventions for young children with ASD is the role of specialists, early childhood providers can play an active role in supporting children with autism and other developmental disabilities. By using developmentally appropriate practices, tracking developmental milestones, communicating with parents, and being aware of community-based resources, early care and education providers can make important contributions to the lives of young children with ASD and their families.

    ACF is dedicated to providing early education providers with the information they need to better understand ASD and support the children in their care. Check out these simple tips early childhood providers can include in everyday routines.

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    Eyfs Best Practice All About Autism

    Dr Prithvi Perepa Monday, September 28, 2020

    Dr Prithvi Perepa clarifies some of the popular misconceptions about autism and outlines how practitioners can support a child with the condition

    Most people will have heard the word autism these days and may have even seen programmes about autism on TV.

    While this familiarity with the term can be beneficial, sometimes media representation of autism leads to stereotypes and can impact our perceptions of what the condition is and what we should do when working with a child with autism. So, first lets consider what autism is.


    Autism is a disability that impacts the ability to communicate, interact and think in a flexible way. As a result, a child with autism may:

    The Unique Child

    Autism is often referred to as a spectrum, and you may have heard phrases such as Autism Spectrum Disorder or Condition. This means that while all children will show differences in the areas of communication, interaction and flexible thinking, how these differences manifest themselves and impact each child will be different.

    It is important, therefore, to understand the uniqueness of each child with autism and not make any assumptions based on your experiences of someone else with autism.


    It is considered that one child in every 100 in the UK could be on the autism spectrum. This is certainly higher than it used to be 20-30 years ago.

    Increased awareness

    Diagnostic criteria

    Girls and boys

    Techniques For Calming An Upset Child

    Autism support must be tailored for child, new guidance ...

    While it’s great to simply avoid getting upset, real-life can make it impossible. When that happens, these tips for calming may help:

    • Recognize signs. Very often, children with autism show signs of distress before they “meltdown” or become very upset. Check to see if your child seems frustrated, angry, anxious, or just over-excited. If she can communicate effectively, she may be able to simply tell you what you need to know.
    • Look for environmental issues that could be causing your child’s discomfort. If it’s easy to do so, resolve any problems. For example, close a door, turn off a light, turn down music, etc.
    • Leave the space. Often, it’s possible to simply leave the situation for a period of time, allowing your child time and space to calm down. Just walk out the door with your child, staying calm and ensuring their safety.
    • Have a “bag of tricks” handy to share with your child. Chewy or sensory toys, favorite books or videos can all defuse a potentially difficult situation. While it’s never ideal to use TV as a babysitter, there are situations in which a favorite video on a smartphone can be a lifesaver.
    • Travel with a weighted vest or blanket. If your child does well with these calming tools, bring an extra in the car at all times. If you don’t have weighted items, you might want to consider rolling your child up in a blanket like a burrito. For some autistic children, the pressure can be very calming.

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    Autism In The Classroom: Tips And Strategies

    Having a child with autism in the classroom can be a challenge, but also incredibly fulfilling if you know how to provide the right support. Whether its helping them to maintain their routine, handle sensory overload, or engage in learning in a way that resonates with them, all of your interventions will benefit them significantly.

    Here are our 7 top tips for supporting autistic children in the classroom:

    Helping Preschool Children With Autism

    For parents and teachers of children ages 2-5 years.

    This new 6 session program can be offered to both Teachers and Parents working with preschool children on the Autism Spectrum. The goal of the program is to promote childrens emotional regulation, positive social interactions, language development, and school readiness. This program can be used as a stand alone, or it can be used as a supplement to either Teacher Classroom Management Program OR the Parent Autism Program. Contact us for more information about this program!

    • Social Interactions and School Readiness
    • Emotional Literacy and Self-Regulation
    • 3 DVD set shown in 6 sessions
    • Comprehensive Leaders Manual, including weekly Spotlighting Tips and weekly practice activities for parents or teachers
    • Helping Preschool Children with Autism: Parents and Teachers as Partners book
    • Autism Parenting Pyramid Poster
    • Toddler Brain Development Neurons Poster
    • Turtle Puppet
    • Small Laminated Self-Regulation cue cards on key ring

    Supplemental materials support and enhance the programs and may be purchased separately.

    Please see basic cost information provided below. This is meant to give a general overview of upfront and ongoing costs. Please dont hesitate to contact us for more particular questions regarding program & book discounts, training costs, etc.

    Up Front Costs
    Ongoing Costs

    Books for parents & teachers




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    Manage Changes And Transitions

    Because an autistic childs routine is crucial to their comfort, changes and transitions can be incredibly overwhelming for them. Changes are often unavoidable and even necessary in school, but the good news is that you can alleviate the anxiety they induce by preparing the autistic child beforehand.

    For example, if you are planning to change classrooms in a week, take the child to view it a few days in advance. Show and give them pictures of it for them to look at until the day of the change. Attaching some predictability to an unexpected task in this way can help it feel less daunting for the child and gives them time to mentally adjust.

    Is The Nursery Setting Right For You And Your Child

    “Helping Preschool Children with Autism: Teachers and Parents as Partners” Program Overview

    Last but not least I thought I would give you some pointers to use as a guide to know if the nursery setting is right for you and your child. From my experience I believe the below factors are all good points to consider when choosing a setting.

    • Are there physical needs met?
    • If they use a wheel chair are there ramps?
    • Are they able to use the available play equipment?
    • Are their sensory needs met?
    • Is there opportunity for them to develop their sensory needs i.e. possible sensory room and sensory play using food/playdough/gloop ect?
    • Would their dietary needs be met?
    • Are the activities that they carry out within the setting appropriate for your childs needs for age and stage of development. If not, would there be support given from a member of staff like myself to help those activities be accessible for your child.
    • How busy is the room/setting that your child would be accessing, how many children would be in the room at any one time and would the noise volume be ok in this situation or would this be distressing for your child.
    • Are you looking into a mainstream nursery or a special needs provision for your child, take time to look around both you know your child and whats best for them and what will meet their needs?

    For anyone in Somerset or South Bristol / BANES are Caroline is now available for private specialist childcare or family support roles. If this of interest get in touch and I can pass on her details.

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    Consider The Learning Environment

    Many children with autism experience whats known as sensory sensitivity. This may cause them to have intense positive or negative reactions to sensory stimulation. So, a useful and simple step you can take is making the classroom environment less overwhelming for them.

    As every autistic child is different, you will have to learn what their individual sensitivities are. Observe how they react to hearing certain sounds or touching certain fabrics, and see if their parents or carers can offer input. Then, do what you can to remove or reduce any stimuli in the environment that causes them anxiety.

    For example, if they become highly distressed by the sound of the school bell, you could allow them to put on noise-cancelling headphones five minutes before it goes off. Make sure you schedule this transition into their routine.

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