Autism Wine Hour

Topic: How parents can further the education of their children with autism

Date published: 4/27/23

Listen to the full podcast here

In this podcast, Dr. Levy discusses ways parents can help their child with autism develop stronger academic skills.

Students with autism may have academic strengths, including accurately decoding and spelling words. However, they tend to struggle with other academic skill areas such as “seeing the big picture” when reading and making inferences from information that they read. They may have trouble expressing their thoughts on paper when writing and often have weak organization and executive functioning skills. By teaching your child strategies for developing their areas of weakness, you can help them thrive in school.

Students with autism typically do well with structure and routine. When we provide special education tutoring to students with autism, we usually let the student know at the start of the session what we plan to cover that day, broken down by skill and time increments. For instance, we may create a visual schedule that says we will spend 25 minutes on reading, 25 minutes on writing, and 10 minutes playing a learning game. We typically show the student the visual schedule before the session begins so that they know what to expect. If there will be any changes, including skills we plan to focus on or how much time we will spend on a given lesson, we give them ample notice about these changes rather than immediately switching gears without notice.

To help them manage their school work, we often help students with autism create a structured plan for the order in which they will complete their assignments, including which one they will do first, second, third, etc., and go over that plan with them. We may even discuss how much time they think each assignment will take and write down the ET, or estimated time, next to each assignment, then later compare it to the AT, or actual time it took, to build stronger time management skills. Read more about helping your child with autism build stronger executive functioning skills at Helping Autistic Students Build Stronger Executive Functioning Skills – EBL Coaching.

Students will autism have unique strengths and weaknesses. By continuing to emphasize their strengths while teaching them strategies for building their areas of weaknesses, you will help set your child up for academic success.

Read more at Helping Your Child with Autism Thrive – HelpGuide.org.

Dear Dr. Levy, My son received an excellent report card. I can’t say enough good things about his EBL tutor. She has done a tremendous job helping him improve his reading and writing skills. Most importantly, she is wise and kind. She is always patient with him. Because of his tutor, my son writes with much more ease.
– Parent