All children who fall on the autism spectrum learn differently and have varying needs when it comes to how they process information. Some children need a very particular learning environment in order to feel safe, while others need a specific order to their day to be able to focus. Some kids are nonverbal and require signals and picture cards, while others speak very well but have trouble finding the right words to express themselves.
Whatever your child’s needs are, it’s important to address them in their lesson plan  and understand that many children on the autism spectrum require repetition and order to understand a concept. Of course, you’ll need to cater the lesson plan to your child’s specific needs, but there are some basic ideas below that will help you get started.
Here’s how to engage your child with a daily lesson plan that will help stimulate their creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills.
Fine motor skills
Many children on the autism spectrum have trouble grasping a pencil or manipulating small objects such as buttons and zippers. You can have your child practice these skills by creating a DIY motor skills board with fabric, buttons, zippers, knobs, flaps, and cardboard. Or, have him hold a large pencil and trace the letters of the alphabet, which you can provide in black marker on a piece of paper.
Expression through art
Art is a great way to allow your child to express himself  in ways he may not be able to with words or motions. Show him colorful works by artists like Van Gogh and Matisse and encourage him to re-create one (or, depending on your child’s age, you can find coloring pages online that mimic famous works such as “Starry Night”).
Using colorful building blocks, have your child sort all the same colors into piles on a table. Encourage him to talk about the colors, naming them as he goes, and have him give you examples of things that might be the same color as the blocks (yellow bananas, red apples, etc.).
Build a house
Using construction paper shapes, have your child “build a house”  on a separate piece of paper, using a triangle for the roof or rectangles for the windows. Let him place the shapes himself and ask him questions about what each one represents.
Using printables, show your child various types of vehicles: cars, garbage trucks, bulldozers, planes, etc. Have him move the vehicles across a table either slowly or quickly, depending on how they move in real life. Encourage him to make the noises they make while he moves them and talk about whether they are found on land, in water, or in the air.
Having a strong daily lesson plan can make a huge difference in your child’s development. Of course, these are only a few suggestions, but they serve as a great start for parents seeking lesson plans and activity ideas for their children on the autism spectrum.
Jenny Wise is passionate about giving her children the best education possible, and by doing so from home. She has set up specialhomeeducator.com in order to help other parents.
- Lesson Planning in the Autism Classroom: How to Make it a Success. In: Autism Classroom Resources [Internet]. 4 Sep 2016 [cited 27 Feb 2017]. Available: http://www.autismclassroomresources.com/lesson-planning-autism-classroom/
- Educating Autism – Art and Creativity to Engage an Autistic Child in the Classroom | The Art of Autism [Internet]. [cited 27 Feb 2017]. Available: http://the-art-of-autism.com/educating-autism-art-and-creativity-to-engage-an-autistic-child-in-the-classroom/
- Blogger RG. The Educator’s Guide to Real Estate Lesson Plans – @RedfinRedfin Real-Time. In: Redfin Real-Time [Internet]. 8 Aug 2015 [cited 27 Feb 2017]. Available: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2015/08/the-educators-guide-to-real-estate-lesson-plans.html