Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Math Lesson Plans For Autistic Students

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Understanding How Key Mathematical Connections Need To Be Taught And Practised

School of Autism Math Lesson Counting

The above mathematical connections are those that learners stumble over in problem-solving questions. It is not because they cannot accept abstract ideas, it is because they have not understood how those ideas connect.

They will continue to make the same mistake over and over again if these lost connections are not recognised by teachers, talked through and explained. This enables the child to know they have time to process, practise and get the answer right.

Music For Reviewing Learned Concepts

Music enhances learning and memory retention. Many research studies over the years have tried to explore this phenomenon and describe it better.

If you go on Youtube, youll find a massive amount of music videos that use simple songs and rhyme to help children memorize mathematical facts and basic principles.

If the child enjoys listening to childrens songs then feel free to introduce songs that teach mathematics in their daily life.

An advantage of this approach is that the child will learn unintentionally while it plays, eats, or simply enjoys their daily activities.

Supporting Students With Autism: 10 Ideas For Inclusive Classrooms

Students with autism may have unique needs with learning, social skills, and communication. These ten simple ideas will help teachers address some of these needs and provide guidance for bringing out the best in learners with autism.

Adapted from: P. Kluth . Youre Going to Love This Kid!: Teaching Students with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom.

While most educators agree that no recipe exists for teaching any individual student or group of students, there are certainly some guidelines that can be helpful for supporting students with certain labels. Students with autism may have unique needs with learning, social skills, and communication, therefore, teachers will need strategies to address each one of these areas. These ten simple ideas will help teachers address some of the aforementioned needs and provide guidance for bringing out the best in learners with autism labels.

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Three Basic Principles For Teaching Math To Autistic Students

The first strategy for teaching math to autistic students is to build your lectures on the three principles described below. Regardless of whether youre teaching a child to count, simple arithmetic operations, or basic geometric shapes, you can always apply the concrete-to-abstract, familiarity, and generalization principles. Best of all, all of them complement one another and help you reinforce the learning process. Heres how each of them can help kids with autism understand basic mathematical skills.

Concrete to Abstract Principle

Just as the name suggests, the concrete-to-abstract principle means to start from concrete examples and slowly progress to more abstract ideas.

You can easily achieve this by giving children the opportunity to see, feel, touch, or even smell different objects from their surroundings. Once theyre comfortable with them, teach kids how to play with the objects while using some basic math operations like addition.

For example, you can play with food toys. Ask the child to give you five food items, three bananas, and two apples. Simply introducing numbers while playing with concrete objects will help the child get comfortable and intuitively learn some basic addition operations before trying to solve addition equations on paper. You can also slowly go from real objects to pen and paper by using transitional elements like flashcards and abacus, which well discuss below.

Familiarity Principle

Generalization Principle

Why Are These Connections Not Obvious To Our Learners

Happy Caterpillar No Prep Resource Pack Worksheet Bundle Literacy Maths ...

Primary school is where these basic connections are created and learned. Children are not generally taught to make connections they are assumed to recognise the connections from what is taught.

A primary school teacher said to me, that if a child has a good understanding of an area of maths, they will recognise that area in a maths problem-solving question. This is an assumption that simply cannot be taken for granted. Autistic learners will often resort to the last thing they knew how to do.

Autism and maths example: multiply -7 × 6

I recently asked a student to multiply -7 × 6. He told me the answer was -1. His confusion was that there was a minus sign in the question and he did not know what to do with it. However, he knew that he needed to do something, so he did what was familiar to him and instead answered the question -7 + 6, arriving at the answer -1.

So, why was this? It was because he had only remembered what to do with adding and subtracting negative numbers, but multiplying and dividing with negative numbers was not familiar to him. While students might recognise several aspects of maths within the question, they may not know what to do with them.

Autism and maths example: multiply 15 × ½

I asked another student to multiply 15 × ½. The first thing he said was that he had to find a common denominator. He saw the ½ and remembered something about common denominators. He could not access the question itself.

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Allow For Verbal Processing Or Any Other Special Needs

As not all autistic students learn in the same way, it is important to be in tune with the special needs of the individual student.

Many autistic learners are verbal processors. For example, sitting maths tests in silence means that they are automatically at a huge disadvantage. This is something I have become increasingly aware of over my years of teaching, and this is not something that students grow out of.

One mature student in her thirties told me if she did not have a room of her own when she sat the exams, she simply would not pass. I made sure she did have this, and she talked her way through the whole exam, reading the questions out loud, and talking through her methods as she wrote.

She passed.

However, a considerable number of students are not aware of their own need to process in this way. During a Q& A time in the classroom, it is important to allow students to feel safe to answer questions and for their answers to be seen as part of their processing and not necessarily the final answer.

Orlando Health South Lake Hospital

Math Instruction and Autism. Jackson’s teachers have come up with a list of tips and ideas for helping Jackson during math time. 1. Use Visuals and Manipulatives. Because. functioning autism Bertrnd et al. 2001 Schaefer-Whitby et al. 2009) may show mathematics weaknesses in comparison to their IQ , or when com-pared to typically developing peers . Students withHFA mayparticularly strugglewithwordprob-lemsdue todifficulties withcomprehension,memory, organi-. 15 Lesson Plan #1 – Introduction to Autism 18 Lesson Plan #2 – Student Brochure Presentation 20 Lesson Plan #3 – Similarities and Differences 24 Lesson Plan #4 – Respect 26 Lesson Plan #5 – Developing a Code of Conduct 27 Lesson Plan #6 – Knowledge Breeds Compassion: Research Project 30 Lesson Plan #7 – Video Presentation on Autism.

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How To Teach Math Concepts To Autistic Children


Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder affecting neurological and social abilities. Teaching children with autism requires patience. Many autistic children do not attend public schools as established teaching practices do not satisfy the needs of the students. Children affected by autism require repetition and structure. Traditional education of autistic children centers around basic language and social skills. While not traditional, teaching math skills to autistic kids may prove beneficial to growth, confidence and independence.

Develop an individual education plan . Each child presents different strengths and difficulties. A plan outlines the goals, strategies and services children will receive based on their own needs. Change the IEP frequently to ensure constant progress.

Involve parents and teachers in lessons. Autistic children require structure. Parents and teachers must communicate and work together to present a united front. Extending lessons to the home helps aid classroom learning. Parents should attend regular meetings with teachers to discuss lessons and progress.

Incorporate sports and games into math lessons. Keeping the child’s attention may prove difficult. Introducing mathematical concepts in association with the child’s favorite activities proves helpful. Try teaching counting using a scoreboard in a sports game or sing and dance to homemade tunes of multiplication timetables.


Five Free Lesson Plans For Preschoolers On The Autism Spectrum

Teaching Mathematics to Children with Autism

A lesson plan is a set of organized educational activities with specific goals. These five printable lesson plans are perfect for preschoolers of all developmental levels, and they include accommodations for non-verbal or lower functioning children.

If you need help downloading the printables, check out these helpful tips.

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Processing Time Is Crucial

These examples demonstrate abstract concepts which learners have not had enough time to process in their lessons. Students will always resort to the most familiar thing that they are sure of, even when that is not what the question requires.

Even when a child understands in a passive way when the teacher explains a concept, it does not mean they will remember it and be able to apply it later on. The amount of processing needed is likely to be considerably more than what may be assumed by us as teachers.

If we also consider that many people with autism struggle to process information quickly, we start to see where they may struggle in the fast-paced, busy and noisy environment of a classroom.

Provide Extra Positive Reinforcement

All kids benefit from positive reinforcement in math, but the additional challenge of decoding social cues makes clear positive feedback even more vital for students on the spectrum.

Yvonne shared a story about a student she works with who thrives on praise given animatedly and excitedly. Every single time Yvonne praised her multiple times each session, she got a Thank you very much, Miss Yvonne! This kiddo was motivated to keep working.

Dont be sparing in your praise of your ASD childs math progress. Provide your child with some math work to practice over the summer, and then make a huge deal out of every success itll inspire him/her to keep up the good work.

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Thumbs Up Texture Exploration

For many children on the autism spectrum, sensory experiences can be disturbing or very enticing. Exploring different textures helps kids expand the range of sensory experiences they can tolerate. This lesson plan also uses the thumbs up or thumbs down sign so kids can begin to label their sensory experiences as good or bad. Using gestures to communicate in this way also furthers language goals.

To use this lesson in the classroom, youll need fabrics and materials in several different textures. Children will experience each texture and determine how they feel about it.

Teach Students About Historical Figures With Autism

count it simple math book for kids with autism

Although the disorder wasnt discovered until the twentieth-century, people with autism have made important contributions to history, and its important to educate students about themnot just in April but throughout the year. Here are a few well-known figures who are diagnosed with or believed to have had autism to get you started:

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Make Sure Chosen Materials Teach The Right Skills

Our students can get really misled by the wrong cues. We need to make sure we choose materials that focus their attention on the parts we want them to focus on. Ive written several posts that touch on this topic. 6 Considerations in Choosing and Preparing Materials for Discrete Trials covers this issue. In addition, 2 Mistakes to Avoid When Using Commercial Products in Structured Work Systems focuses on how to identify problems with materials and provide possible fixes. By including materials in your lesson plans, you assure that the rest of the staff is using the materials you intend for the activity.

Choose A Curriculum For Teaching Math To Students With Autism

Selecting an appropriate curriculum for teaching math to students with autism can be taxing. In order to facilitate this task, you may want to consider the questions below before choosing the curriculum:

  • What is the preferred learning style of your student? Do they like incorporating technology in their learning or perhaps a nature-based setting is more to their liking?
  • What are the strong points of your student in math? What are their weaker points?

How does the math curriculum address these particular math strengths and weaknesses? Remember that each child with autism is unique and youll have to set up an individualized approach that takes their uniqueness into account.

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Math Strategies For Autistic Students

Math is pretty scary on its own, but add a development condition into the mixture, and most parents and teachers would fall into despair thinking they might not be up to this demanding task.

Were here to debunk that wide-spread notion and give you hope that with the right teaching strategies, your children can learn math just like any other kid. In fact, its not uncommon for autistic children to develop exceptional math skills. Here are five strategies that will help you during this process.

Educational Needs Of Autistic Students


Considering the above-mentioned difficulties, children with autism have special educational needs that must be met by parents, tutors, and/or teachers, so the child can develop optimally and be able to keep up with demanding subjects like math.

Depending on the severity of the condition, the child can be included in mainstream classroom settings or follow a special educational program. Inclusion might work, but only if the teachers have training or specific qualifications for working with special-needs children. Plus, they must be ready to devote more time and resources for teaching math to students with autism.

While most children might have no problem going over seven different subjects in one school day, kids with autism thrive in a structured and stereotypical school environment. This means that you should establish a routine that works well for children with autism and then follow it rigorously, as theyll be relaxed and cooperative when they know what comes next. Preparing the child in advance and then verbalizing each step of the activity might be necessary.

A good example of this would be: Today were going to learn how to count food. First, well talk a little more about numbers, after which well try to write this down together. Is that okay? Once were finished we can go play with the toys. Reassuring them and asking for feedback will also help them feel safe and relaxed. Repeating the order of the activities each step of the way is also recommended.

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Difficulties With Nonverbal Communication

Communication in general is a major concern in kids with autism. While most programs focus on practices for overcoming difficulties in verbal communication, you shouldnt overlook emotional development and body language. Direct eye contact and common gestures are crucial for developing social skills and emotional maturity. Work with professionals and try different approaches to help your child improve their nonverbal communication and build close relationships with the people in their life.

How Would It Feel To Be : : : :

Next time you read a book to your class, try asking your students how it would feel to be the main character in the story. If youre reading a picture book about Cinderella, for example, you could ask how they would feel if they had two evil stepsisters who were mean to them. Or if youre reading Peter Pan as a class, you could ask them what happy memories they would think about to fly with magic pixie dust.

This can help students with autism learn empathy as well as how to see situations in their lives from another perspective. It can also teach them how to recognize emotional cues by encouraging them to put themselves in the perspective of another person.

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Just Like Me Activity

For this activity, gather all of your students together on the floor so they can all see each other. Have each child take turns sharing something about themselves, like:

  • I have a pet dog.
  • I can play the piano.
  • My birthday is in September.
  • I love to play soccer.
  • My favorite color is yellow.

If a statement also applies to other students , instruct them to raise their hands. This will help remind students that they share more similarities than differences with their peers and that they can always find something to talk about.

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Teaching Math To Students With Autism

Listen to this Lesson:

Whether you are a homeschooling parent or a teacher at a school, if you have at least one student with autism, its possible that youre struggling to fully meet their needs.

In fact, one survey conducted by the charity Ambitious About Autism indicates that as many as 60% of teachers in England felt they lacked appropriate preparation to teach children with autism. Similarly, in the US, schools are also said to be underprepared for teaching students with autism.

The challenges of this endeavor vary depending on the subject that is being taught, with mathematics often being perceived as one of the most daunting ones. The two biggest issues for educators stem from lack of training or lack of resources.

To help you out, in the following article, well discuss several such resources and strategies for teaching math to students with autism.

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Free Autism Resources To Help You Set Up A Home Program

Have you been thinking of starting a home program for your child with special needs? Get started by creating the perfect space to help your child learn and thrive.

Once you have your space set up, you will also need to make sure that your progress nook is properly stocked with the materials you need to help your child interact and progress. These materials will help you build your childs communication, fine motor, sensory and gross motor skills.

What will you teach this week? will help you do just that.

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