TIPS By: ABA Works
Last week, we addressed how children learn differently and often have an affinity towards one type of learning style. To find out which learning style you or your child has, read more about the characteristics here. Once you’ve determined which style describes how your child best understands new information, you can use this knowledge to more effectively teach your child. These teaching strategies, specific for each learning style, can be used to not only teach the academic material but also to teach social and behavioral skills. At ABA Works, we focus on improving a child’s challenges by using their strengths.
Try these strategies out with your child and see the results!
- Create visual daily schedules (like: icons that show how to get ready for school)
- Use First/Then charts (example: “First clean up toys, Then ride bikes”)
- Reward your child’s behavior by using a star chart
- Utilize timers as a visual prompt to transitions
- Pair written directions with verbal directions (e.g.: “Do homework” and write it down)
- Give a verbal reminder a few minutes before a transition
- Use verbal reinforcement/praise
- Engage in natural environment teaching (example: while playing with Legos, ask child “what color is this?” for different pieces)
- Allow your child to lead conversations, but prompt them when needed, with appropriate social behaviors
- When reading a book together, take turns reading and ask questions about the book
- Lead hands-on-teaching projects like building models or doing experiments; focus on turn taking skills
- Use natural teaching moments while playing outside (example: work on motor imitation goal while playing basketball, say “Do this” while dribbling the ball, then give child the ball to imitate your behavior.)
- Engage in motor activities like play dough, magnetic sticks, or wood blocks with your child while incorporating teaching moments (example: “What are you building?” “Can I play with that piece?” “What shape is this?”)
- Create a daily schedule in list form
- When giving a direction, also provide a reason (example: “First you need to clean up your toys so that the table is clean for dinner,” “Put your shoes on because it is a rule to wear shoes at school”)
- Teach abstract skills, like social skills, by explaining each person’s perspective in a situation. Drawing a visual diagram of an example social situation can help your child organize the idea.
- Use role-playing, especially when teaching new social or behavioral skills
- Practice turn taking skills while playing board games with family or friends
- Model appropriate behaviors and direct child to do what you are doing
- Help child create daily to do lists and schedules
- Teach self-help skills by using a Task Analysis, remind children that when they master the skill, they can continue to do these activities on their own.
Example: Visual Task Analysis of Brushing Teeth:
- To increase social interest, encourage child to think of what they like to do alone and think of why might other people find this activity interesting
- Teach child how to independently role play: start with typical role playing, then fade yourself out and instruct child to visualize the appropriate person next to them. They can then continue practicing these skills independently.
If you are interested in receiving professional, customized ABA services for your family to help with behavior challenges, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Disorders, ADHD or related disorders, contact ABA Works at firstname.lastname@example.org