Autism: The Learning Difficulty Of Children
Many people think that autism and learning difficulty is the same thing but I must tell you that they are different. Why it often seems like they are the same is that most children with autism have this problem. According to Autistica, a website dedicated to autism, an IQ (Intelligent Quotient) below 70 is termed a learning disability.
Learning disability manifest in different ways including difficulties; in adapting to different situations, controlling their behavior, and interacting with others. Most children with autism will naturally be faced with these challenges. Scientists have also found a genetic relatedness between learning disability and autism.
Once I began to observe my daughter more keenly after I discovered she was autistic, I noticed behaviors like self-injury and stereotypes are common among people with autism and learning disability. Coping with the health and behavioral challenges of children with autism usually increase the stress of their parent or caregiver.
The Brain Of Autism Kids Work Differently
I have been interested to find out a thing or two about what could possibly be the reason why learning difficulty is almost like a norm among children with autism. It is true that everybody's brain works differently but looking at my daughter I can’t help but compare her with the other children of her age. I often find myself asking the question, “Why can’t she do this or that?”
According to psychologists, there are three ways through which human beings can learn namely touch (kinesthetic), hearing (auditory), and sight (visual). As you grow your brain begin to choose one or two channels over the others. You make have noticed that you learn better through one form compared to the others.
For a child with autism, the brain will usually shut off all the other channels in preference for just one channel.
For a normal-developing child, if presented with information from the different channels (touch, sound, visual, taste, smell), the brain can easily distill the information. However, for a child with autism, the brain will usually shut off all the other channels in preference for just one channel.
Another thing that happens frequently is that when children with autism are presented with information from two or more channels simultaneously, they find it difficult to integrate this information which makes them confused.
How You Can Help Autistic Children To Learn
Autism is a wide neurological disorder with a broad spectrum. Hence, the tip that helped me to cope with my daughter may not necessarily work for you. It often requires a lot of experiment to find a combination that will work for your child. I cannot guarantee that the tips below will be effective but they are definitely worth a try.
Create a suitable learning environment: if it is possible, use a separate room and eliminate all possible distractions including all electronic gadgets, toys, and sounds. Since autistic children are very sensitive to light changes you have to choose a lighting that is consistent and non-aggressive.
Find the learning channel that best suits your child: like I mentioned before, autistic children have one learning channel and it is your duty to find out what it is.