Tips for working from home using autism resources
- Provide a visual structure – this can be a simple ‘now and next’ board or a full timetable showing each activity etc. depending on the level of understanding your child has- be mindful that ALL children and young people like to know what they are doing, how long for, when they will be finished, and when they get to do something they want to do. Visuals/written checklist allow our children and young people to cross off activities which will help them feel like they are achieving and gives them a clear end.
- Having an incentive or reward system is great – be mindful that some children will need rewards at regular intervals (using the ‘I am Working For’ card system is good for this). If our child/young person is faced with too much of a demand/too long a wait, then they may feel it is impossible to achieve and avoid even attempting the task. This may result in defiant behaviour due to fear of failure. Little and often!
- Having a designated work space- our children and young people may find working at home very challenging and might not be able to understand the reasoning behind this. Allow the child/young person to choose their work space (if they display demand avoidant behaviours, limited choice is better- give them some structured options). Make sure the choice is reasonable i.e not in front of the TV. Consider the environment – noise, distraction etc.
- Allowing the child to have their own ‘display board’ or wall like in their classrooms can help. They can display their work or favourite picture etc.
- Allow breaks- use the sensory feedback sheet for options of activities during the break for children with sensory processing difficulties.
- Make learning fun- it does not have to be at a table- particularly for those children/young people that are impulsive and find it difficult to focus- gardening, baking, crafting etc. are great.
- Go where their interest is! Complete projects, research, activities around their motivating subjects. Helping around the house, outside, with cars, construction etc.
- Exercise and activities- the sensory feedback sheet can help but also creating your own fitness circuits, researching Youtube videos for fitness routines and relaxation and mindfulness for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaTDNYjk-Gw for younger children.