Teaching the Alphabet to Your Autistic Child
Teaching autistic children about new concepts is never as easy as it seems. Patience is always required as autistic children learn differently from typical children.
For example, if you want to teach your child the alphabet, you need to be persistent enough to practice the alphabet with him until he learns it by heart. One way to do this is by creating visual images of each letter in the alphabet. Make the visual images attractive and interesting enough so that it can hold your child’s attention.
If you intend to add pictures that start with the letters of the alphabet, it is a good idea to use images that represent his interests. For example, if your child is interested in animals, you can use the image of an antelope for A, bear for B, cat for C and so on. Put these visual images on the wall where he is able to regularly see it and practice saying the letters with him.
In addition to the visual images, you can also help him learn the alphabet by teaching him the alphabet song. Always start out slow and let him know that he can sing along by reading the visual images that you have put on the wall for him. One thing you need to remember though is that autistic children like having structure and tend to be ritualistic about the things they do. Thus, when teaching the alphabet song, you should always remember to finish the song. Do not stop in the middle of the song and start over. You need to follow through even when he has made a mistake.
Once your child starts to recognize the letters of the alphabet, you can enhance his knowledge by regularly asking him to identify the letters of the alphabet. You can use flash cards to quiz him. Use both the upper and lower case flashcards so he will be learn to recognize both the uppercase and the lowercase version of the letter. And as he gets more and more familiar with the letters of the alphabet, you can start to jumble the order of the letters. Remember to always praise your child every time he recognizes a letter and to correct him kindly when he makes a mistake.