How do we support children with autism?

We understand that every child on the autism spectrum is different. That’s why our holistic tutoring sessions can be combined to include focused support with communication and language needs, social skills, behavioural needs and fine-motor skills development. All our specialist tutors are highly experienced to teach children with SEN and autism in the ways that best suit their needs.

We make learning fun, creative and tailored to every child’s needs – special interests!

Autism is much more common than many people think. In the UK, there are around 700,000 people on the Autism Spectrum – that’s more than 1 in 100 in the population.

According to research, around a third of people with a learning disability may also be autistic.

Getting the right support at the right time can make an enormous difference to peoples’ lives and student we help is considered as the unique individual he or she is.

Children and young adults with autism often have special interests. Otherwise known as ‘obsessions’ or ‘fascinations’, just as we have different hobbies these will vary from student to student. Joanna Gibbs, the director of SENsational Tutors Ltd. interviewed Tony Attwood and discussed how we need to be creative and understanding when working with children and young adults with autism. She discussed how the SEN specialist tutors use special interests during the tutoring sessions to have a profound impact on learning and confidence.

How can we help your autistic child at home?

Our unique, holistic approach to teaching and tutoring children and young adults who have autism or are on the autism spectrum, who may have a learning disability or not, works so well because it’s completely tailored to the individual’s specific needs and interests.

The benefit is that you, as parents, know your child or young adult is being supported to reach their full potential. You can continue with what you do best – being the fantastic, caring and nurturing parents that you are.

We make sure our teaching sessions are fun, creative, and involve active learning to foster a love of learning in your child or young adult for themselves. Our approach is to teach the student the tools and strategies which they can use for themselves. Our aim is to ensure that our tools and strategies can be used by you, as parents, and by the students themselves so that you and your child are empowered, take ownership and are able to develop a sense of independence.

Elise is one of our specialist qualified autism tutors. She has Qualified Teacher Status both in the UK and Australia, and Master of Education in Special Educational Needs and a Bachelor of Education. She is currently the Inclusion Leader/ SENCo of a school in East London. She explains to parents what they can do at home to support their child who is on the autism spectrum:

“Undoubtedly it is challenging to find out that your child has autism. But it does not mean that your child cannot have every opportunity to accomplish their dreams. Some of history’s most influential people (Charles Darwin, Bill Gates, Temple Grandin, Andy Warhol) had autism. But your child needs a champion, someone who believes in them. And that person is you! You will be the person that helps them understand who they are and what they need. To best support your child at home you can:

We make learning fun, creative and tailored to every child’s needs – special interests!

  • Learn about autism: the more you understand about autism, the better equipped you are to understand the diagnosis. It will help you make decisions about your child. There are a number a fantastic websites on autism available including the National Autism Society and Autism Speaks.
  • Learn about your child: become an expert on your child and how autism affects them. Know their triggers, sensitivities and challenges. Learn what helps them when they face these obstacles. There will be some trial and error. And what might work one day, may not work the next. But children with autism often display patterns in their behaviour, and the more you get to know these patterns, the more you will know how to help them in different situations.
  • Structure and consistency: These are both vital for a child with autism. The world doesn’t make sense to them at all and this can lead to frustrations and meltdowns. If things can become more predictable and have structure, it will make it easier for them. One way to have structure at home is to have a visual timetable that details the things that will happen that day. Be consistent in your approach as well. For example, keep the same wake up and bedtime. This will help your child to make a confusing world a little less unpredictable.
  • Work as a team: You know the expression – it takes a village? This definitely applies here. Build a partnership with your child, the school and the professionals that support your child. Work together to discuss options, devise support plans and make decisions. This is as much for your child, as it is for you.
  • Home as the comfort zone: Let home be a place that your child can be completely themselves. A place they do not have to worry about following social protocols. Because this is a place they can relax, they may have frequent more meltdowns or moments of really challenging behaviour. There is no one way or straight approach to apply in this situation but as you get to know your child, you will know what helps them. Get advice from the professionals that work with your child and come up with a plan for if and when this arises.
  • Be patient and celebrate the positives: there will be ups and downs. There will be progress and there will be set backs. Be patient – it will take time. But celebrate the positives, no matter how big or how small. Let your child know how proud you are of them and that you will always be there to help them.

How can we help your autistic child at home?

Elise explains her approach to teaching kids or young adults who are on the autism spectrum.

“No two people are exactly alike and the same can be said for children autism. My approach as an educator for working with children with autism is to get to know them as an individual – their interests and passions, their hopes and aspirations, the things that matter to them as an individual.

I always keep in mind that children with autism have different ways of communicating and that I need to use whatever works best for them. This could include using visual cues, specific language programs such as Makaton or implementing social stories to explain different scenarios. I also ensure that I use literal terms rather than metaphors. For example, if I told a child with autism to ‘Put your coat on because it is raining cats and dogs’ the child will go outside expecting to see cats and dogs falling from the sky. It is also vital that children with autism have expectations. These expectations need to be realistic for that child. But, as we all know, children are resilient, and they are capable of accomplishing the targets we set for them when given the tools and support to do so.”

As well as appreciating and adapting her teaching according to the preferred learning methods of her students, Elise also carefully plans her lessons and uses her skills to help to build confidence in every student’s ability to learn at a pace that suits them.

“As a teacher and lecturer or tutor, I make sure I always have a lesson plan, student reports and individual records of work to help map out what needs be studied and when, and to keep abreast with the administration involved.”

To find out more about Elise or book her for a teaching session with your child or young adult with autism, click here.

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