How to Teach Math Concepts to Autistic Children

Written by crystal lee
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How to Teach Math Concepts to Autistic Children
Games and tools help teach autistic children math. (old math game image by peter Hires Images from

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder affecting neurological and social abilities. Teaching children with autism requires patience. Many autistic children do not attend state 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 centres around basic language and social skills. While not traditional, teaching math skills to autistic kids may prove beneficial to growth, confidence and independence.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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  1. 1

    Develop an individual education plan (IEP). 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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

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

  4. 4

    Place equations on uncluttered sheets of paper. Do not overwhelm the student with a sheet full of equations. Print each equation in a large font and provide plenty of space for writing and configuring the answer. Use only a minimum amount of equations per page.

  5. 5

    Accommodate lesson plans to the child. Do not try to change or rush the child. Follow the child's lead to ensure the comprehension of concepts. Each student progresses at his own pace and you must respect this pace.

  6. 6

    Use concrete objects to animate lessons. Autistic children require concrete lessons. Include tangible objects to support the material you teach. Items such as marbles, coins and even an abacus may help.

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