How to Support Learning for Neurodiverse Children
Did You Know? Approximately one in six children from the ages of 3 years old to 17 years old face a developmental disability. Neurodiverse is a term used referring to variation in human learning and cognition. Things such as Autism, ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, and many other conditions are referred to as Neurodiverse. As more children are diagnosed as Neurodivergent, it is increasingly important to understand each child has gifts and struggles when it comes to taking in information and complex learning styles. A challenge many families, educators, and therapists face is learning how to encourage and support the learning process.
Neurodiverse brains function a little differently and include a variety of unique perspectives in areas such as creativity, attention to detail, skills revolving around logic, and attention to details. Working with the right perspective can help children thrive in all settings by ensuring that they are supported and encouraged throughout their learning journey. This can be at home, in the classroom, in social settings, or anywhere their lives take them!
- Validate Feelings: It is important to lean in and help identify and validate feelings your child might be expressing when learning is difficult or when they are learning new things. Talking about emotional states and labeling them can help with this!
- Outlets for Creative Interests: Sometimes children take learning into their own hands when presented with items they are highly interested in during the learning process! Involving your child’s special interests and letting creativity flow is a great way to encourage learning naturally.
- Set Routine: Having a set routine and structure can help your child feel supported and lower the stress they are experiencing in everyday life. Patience is key, it may take time for your child to learn a new routine or get used to a change in their schedule.
- Positive Reinforcement: Using natural reinforcement such as encouraging words as well as tangible rewards is a great way to build motivation for learning and showing encouragement to children along the way.
- Understanding: Sometimes it can be hard for a child with a developmental delay to concentrate, retain information, and communicate. Understanding this and highlighting when a child does show improvement in these areas not only helps build their confidence and self-esteem but can encourage the child in their learning environment and help support them.
- Managing Hyperactivity: Things like taking a movement break, getting the children involved with learning in a physical way is shown to help improve focus and concentration in many areas!
- Comfort: Neurodiverse children can struggle in certain social settings. This means it is important to give them resources they can use in order to comfortably and happily learn from and enjoy time with others. Some ideas to help your child feel more comfortable in social settings might be practicing or even writing down helpful conversation tips, giving the child a fidget or sensory item for reducing anxiety and/or increasing focus, and using lots of rewards and encouragement.
- Communication: This plays a big part in not only building confidence in conversation skills but also can help them learn how to learn from others and work with others. It is always important to be available to listen to them and empathize with them when they are struggling and encourage them where they succeed!
In supporting your Neurodiverse child and giving them the resources, they need, you can help them feel more confident in these situation, and confidence for you as the caregiver that you are able to provide the best care and support for your child. If you want to learn more about Neurodiverse children, contact us today! https://littlespursautism.com/getting-started/
- According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and The Health and Resources Services Administration that in the United States https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/developmentaldisabilities/features/increase-in-developmental-disabilities.html
Little Spurs Autism Centers offers collaborative and compassionate ABA Therapy to children 0-21 years old. Offering both center-based and home-based care, LSAC is excited to empower families by providing them with the support they need. For more information, please email us at email@example.com