Techniques for Assisting an Autistic Child in Developing Math Skills

teaching math to autistic child

It Can Be Tricky

Mathematics can present a formidable challenge for children, but those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face unique difficulties in this subject. During the weekends, there may be a temptation to forgo math practice. However, as a parent of a child with ASD, you know the significance of consistency in maintaining mathematical proficiency and reducing frustration for the rest of the academic year.

A multitude of studies have been conducted with the purpose of facilitating the mathematical success of all children, including those with autism. These strategies, which can be implemented by parents at any time, have been summarized for your convenience.


Make Real Life Comparisons

The abstract nature of mathematical concepts can present a challenge for children with autism, who tend to possess a concrete and straightforward mode of thinking. To aid in their comprehension, it becomes crucial to establish connections to the tangible world.

The incorporation of real-life experiences into the learning process can greatly enhance its engagement and significance. Simple everyday activities, such as pushing and pulling toys, stacking blocks, and filling and emptying cups of water in the bathtub, serve as excellent examples that can be utilized to achieve this.


Incorporate Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement plays a vital role in the development of mathematical skills in all children, but it becomes especially important for students with autism who face difficulties in interpreting social cues. Providing clear and affirmative feedback can greatly benefit their learning experience.

It is vital to be clear in your admiration for your child’s achievements and advancements in mathematics. Encouraging consistent practice throughout the week (including days off), and celebrating their triumphs with unbridled enthusiasm, will serve to maintain their motivation and drive toward success.


Gradually Implement Changes

The learning environment for children with autism can often be disrupted by frequent changes in mathematical concepts, problem-solving techniques, and teaching methodologies. It is well documented that children with autism have a preference for routine and structure, and sudden changes can be confusing and overwhelming for them.

To counteract this, it is important to implement changes gradually rather than all at once. This approach can be achieved through a collaborative effort between parents and educators. By having open and ongoing conversations with your child about the changes that are taking place in their mathematical education, you can help them better understand and prepare for the shifts that are to come.

It is also beneficial to provide your child with opportunities to familiarize themselves with new tools and technologies that may be introduced in the classroom. For example, by giving your child access to a whiteboard or tablet, they can practice using these new resources ahead of time and feel more confident when it comes time to use them in class.

By approaching change in a gradual and proactive manner, you can help your child with autism adjust to new mathematical concepts, problem-solving techniques, and teaching methodologies with ease, allowing them to continue to grow and thrive in their mathematical education.


Give Personalized Assistance

It is widely recognized that each student has different learning styles and requirements when it comes to mathematics education. Some students prefer visual aids, while others respond better to hands-on activities. Yet, others may struggle with specific mathematical concepts, such as geometry or algebra. For students with autism, these challenges can be even greater, making it all the more important to provide personalized attention that meets their specific needs.

Personalized attention can take many forms, such as one-on-one instruction, the engagement of a private tutor, or the use of an adaptive online program. These methods provide an opportunity for students with autism to receive individualized attention, where their strengths and weaknesses can be identified and addressed in a manner that is tailored to their specific needs. This allows students with autism to receive the support and guidance they need to excel in mathematics and helps to eliminate any potential roadblocks that may arise.

Furthermore, by providing individualized attention during the summer months, students with autism can maintain their mathematical abilities and experience a smooth transition into the next academic year. This helps to minimize any potential anxiety or stress that may be associated with the return to school, allowing them to hit the ground running and continue to make progress in their mathematical education.

To conclude, it is essential to dedicate quality time to your child, appreciate their efforts, and address their specific needs, as this will set them on a path towards success, both now and in the future.