Creating a Safe Learning Environment for Your Autistic Child

Creating a Safe Learning Environment for Your Autistic Child - Playgarden Online
BY Miss Julia November 17, 2023 parenting tips

Some schools are fully specialized or have designated programs for children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), as well as specialists, classroom support, and learning plans. However, classrooms and peers can be overwhelming for little ones with ASD. Some families will turn to homeschooling to help their children with special learning needs succeed. Many children feel safest at home, so learning (and assessing) from home may be the best option for now. That being said, you never know what your little one’s future has in store. For families with little ones with ASD, there are many benefits to homeschooling and creating a safe learning environment as part of a great preschool curriculum.

Benefits of Homeschooling for Children with ASD

– Instruction and curriculum are both designed with the specific child’s interests in mind, setting your little one up for success.

– Schedule is controlled by you, giving the flexibility to change lesson plans for the day because of appointments, therapies, or days when school is not the top priority.

– If your child is in need of health monitoring, homeschooling allows for you to be right there in case of an emergency.

Here are some steps to create a safe and welcoming learning environment for your little one:

Create a Routine

Write the schedule on a white board or any type of visual aid so that your little one can see what the day will look like. Check off each task or lesson after it is completed so your little one can see where in the day you are and what they have accomplished.

Build Curriculum Based on Special Interests

Some little ones with ASD have specific interests and find focusing on other subjects challenging because they do not have interest in them. Working with your child’s special learning needs and interests can make all the difference in making a safe learning environment. For example, let’s say your little one loves ocean animals — incorporate them wherever you can, in lessons and on work materials. Their interests help them feel safe, and when they are in a comforting environment, they are more inclined to stay engaged and enjoy learning.

Sensory Friendly Space 

Little ones with ASD can find certain sensory experiences overwhelming, so it is important to include sensory friendly materials — soft rugs and pillows, favorite fidget toys, and comforting music — in their safe learning environment (similar to a Calm Corner). 

Practice Socialization 

Social activities can be overstimulating or uncomfortable for some children with ASD. Learning from home eliminates stressors and allows for interactions that feel safe. In addition, you are able to practice social situations so your little one can feel more confident knowing what to expect when going to public places and interacting with others.

However you set up your safe learning environment for your little one with ASD, make sure it benefits their specific special learning needs and grows with them as an individual!

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Miss Julia Pencil

Hi, I'm Miss Julia!

Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.

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