Thursday, January 26, 2012

Motivating Special Needs Children

Children with Autism should be given small rewards every time they give appropriate responses. These ‘reinforcers’ or rewards have to be interesting enough to a child to serve as motivation and should be based on a child’s personal interests and preferences. These rewards may help in the development of their social, language and behavioral skills. Here are some ways to effectively motivate your child:

1. Use of Positive Reinforcement

Praising a child for every right action made or giving him another try when he gave a wrong answer are positive reinforcements that will encourage more participation from the child and open a communication line between you.

2. Encourage Activities Such as ‘Social Stories’ and ‘Scripting’

These will help in the behavioral development of verbal and non-verbal children, which is very important as early detection can decrease future social isolation and improve communication skills.

3. Allow Them to Choose Their Own Activity

Make them choose the activity they want to do and join them at it until they initialize eye contact with you.

4. Use Play Therapy

Children with autism can be motivated by using teaching skills that promote play and self-expression.

It provides them with a sense of accomplishment.

5. Reward Children with Favorite Toys or Food

Give them something to strive for by giving them something they truly like every time they accomplish something.

6. Use Music Therapy

Simple and repetitive phrases can help in developing the language skills of children with autism. It also helps them change monotone speech patterns by matching their voice to music rhythms. It can also promote social interaction by motivating them to join group activities.

7. Integrate Activities that Affect the Level of Sensory Stimulation

This will help them adjust to different sensory stimulation, which can normally overwhelm them.

8. Constantly Introduce New Fun Activities

Studies showed that autistic children learn faster, stay focused and are generally more behaved when fun tasks are regularly changed.

By Special Learning Inc.

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