What are some ways for parents to assist their child with autism to achieve academic goals in Australia?
To assist the achievement of academic goals by your child with autism in Australia, consider the following strategies:
- Collaborate with the school: Establish a collaborative relationship with your child’s teachers and school staff. Communicate regularly to stay informed about their academic progress, goals, and areas of challenge. Work together to develop strategies that support your child’s learning and academic achievement.
- Set clear and realistic goals: Collaborate with the school to set clear and realistic academic goals for your child. Ensure that the goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). These goals should align with your child’s abilities and provide a clear roadmap for their academic progress.
- Support executive functioning skills: Help your child develop executive functioning skills, such as organisation, time management, and task initiation. Provide visual schedules, checklists, and timers to assist with planning and completing tasks. Break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps to facilitate progress.
- Provide a structured and supportive learning environment at home: Create a structured and supportive learning environment at home that promotes focus and minimises distractions. Establish routines and schedules for studying and completing homework. Designate a quiet study area with necessary materials, and provide clear instructions and expectations.
- Use visual supports and aids: Visual supports, such as visual schedules, visual cues, and visual aids, can enhance understanding and organisation. Use visual supports to outline daily routines, steps for completing tasks, and important information. This visual reinforcement can assist your child in comprehending and remembering information.
- Implement effective study strategies: Teach your child effective study strategies, such as active reading, note-taking, and reviewing information regularly. Help them develop effective study habits and strategies that work best for their learning style. Break down complex information into smaller, more digestible pieces.
- Provide individualised instruction and accommodations: Advocate for individualised instruction and accommodations that support your child’s learning style and needs. This may include modified assignments, extended time for tests, preferential seating, assistive technology, or additional support from a teacher or aide.
- Foster a positive mindset and motivation: Encourage a positive mindset and motivation towards learning. Celebrate achievements and progress, and provide positive reinforcement for effort and persistence. Help your child develop a growth mindset, emphasizing the belief that they can improve and succeed through hard work and dedication.
- Seek additional resources and support: Explore additional resources and support services that can aid in your child’s academic achievement. This may include accessing tutoring, educational therapy, or online resources tailored to children with autism. Collaborate with professionals, such as therapists or educational consultants, who specialize in supporting students with autism.
- Monitor progress and collaborate with teachers: Regularly monitor your child’s academic progress and maintain open lines of communication with teachers. Attend parent-teacher conferences and seek feedback on your child’s performance. Collaborate on strategies to address any academic challenges that arise.
Remember that every child is unique, and strategies should be tailored to your child’s specific strengths, challenges, and learning style. By collaborating with the school, setting clear goals, providing support at home, and seeking appropriate resources, parents can promote the achievement of academic goals for their child with autism in Australia.
Leanne Hopkins is an Occupational Therapist at Succeed Healthcare Solutions and is passionate about creating a world where families thrive. If you are a parent or carer who would like guidance with your child’s educational journey, please contact us and arrange a free 15-minute Discovery Interview to see how we can assist.