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The Helping Hand

Kriti was a lovely child. It wasn’t until she was six years old, that she was diagnosed with autism. Her parents were worried about her and they started doing everything they could to help their child. From taking her to the general practitioner to visiting paediatricians and speech therapists, they tried everything to help her.

After six months of endless advice and support, it dawned upon the parents that there is no cure for this disease. They were heartbroken. They couldn’t stop thinking about their child’s future. They felt helpless and hopeless. At this moment of turmoil in their lives, there was this one person who came to their help. This person worked for an NGO and came to know about the child through a common friend. Kriti’s parents were into depression and couldn’t think of anything that could help them get their child live a normal life. So, one day when this person came to their door offering help, they were delighted. They couldn’t believe that there was still some hope.

In the following few days, this person visited the family quite often. During every visit, he tried to understand the child better. Through his interaction with the child, he came to know that she actually had some fascination for certain things. He was aware of the fact that there was no cure for autism.  But he believed that this child could still do a lot of things with her life. He knew exactly what he had to do. He decided to help the parents understand how to handle an autistic child.

This is how he explained things to them:

Step 1

The first step in understanding an autistic child is to identify the child’s areas of interest. Autistic children tend to have interest in a particular subject matter. Once you identify this interest, you can use these to teach other concepts to the child. This will make it a lot easier to teach the child rather than following the traditional method of teaching.

Step 2

People suffering from autism are usually visual learners. Keep this in mind when you teach the child certain concepts. For example, you can use objects like toys to show the child how addition works. Or you could use the internet to show videos to the child and teach them maths and science. This will make learning fun for the child.

Step 3

One of the facts about autism that you must understand is that not two individuals who suffer from autism have the same problems. Therefore, it cannot be justified that you use the same method to teach them. You will have to understand the abilities of the child and tailor your teaching methods according to that.

Step 4

Children suffering from autism may have weak motor skills. This makes it really challenging especially for learning mathematics. It can sometimes be really overwhelming for an autistic child to learn mathematics through pen and paper. This problem can be solved by the use of technology. Make the child familiar with the use of computers and other devices. Teach them subjects like maths and science through online learning portals. This will make it really simple for them to learn and understand the concept easily. Here is a website which provides you with multiplication tables. Use it to make the child develop maths skills.

Step 5

Another effective method of teaching an autistic child is to teach through replication. Make the child replicate your actions. Doing this will help the child make conclusions for herself when you are not with them. This makes them confident.

Step 6

Use games as a learning medium. There are certain games which have been developed to improve the mathematical skills of children. These games are easy to play and help the child learn while having fun.

It has been two years since that day and Kriti has shown a lot of progress in learning. Her parents are no longer worried. They are sure of the fact that their child has a bright future. As for the person who came to their help, he is still on his mission of spreading hope among other parents and helping children like Kriti live a better life.

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