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Autism Counseling | Helping parents create awesome learning spaces

Parenting Autism can be a lot of things.

I think one of the best approaches that you can take as a parent is to plan ahead and start early.

Learning spaces allow your child with Autism to have individual areas within the home or even outside that pertain to different tasks, responsibilities or activities. One of the most important factors to having a learning space is that it follows your child(s) path.

This means that your child is able to lead the show and create spaces that are specific to his/her needs.

I’ve been around Autism all my life. My sister, Diane, was diagnosed at an early age. I have so many memories of the up and down roller coaster of emotions surrounding Autism. I also understand the importance of allowing the individual to create a path versus being directed. Often, parents to children with Autism struggle with understanding the importance of listening and observing their child(s) needs versus parenting with the “notion of what the parent thinks is right”.

Before moving forward in the reading, I want to share a personal favorite show of mine. Parenthood. I have posted a short clip. Overall, the show focuses on a family that has a child with Autism.

I want you to consider a learning space as an area that your child will:

  • Truly enjoy

  • Receive benefit from

Before moving forward.

Lets define a learning space:

A learning space is an isolated location in which your child is able to focus on one particular thing.

Setting up the learning space

It is vital that your child enjoys some of the learning spaces provided to them. As the parent, I am sure that you are knowledgeable in what your child(s) interest and hobbies are. Identify the personal interest or hobbies and create an isolated space for it. autism counseling, autism counselor, greensboro autism counseling, greensboro autism counselor

Examples may include:

  • Your child’s favorite activities.

  • Personal goals that your child is working on.

  • School work/task.

  • Home expectations.

  • Behavioral goals.

  • Fun activities: video games, coloring, or board games.

When do I start using learning spaces

As early as possible. Your child can be 5 years old or 13 years old. Starting as soon as you are able to is the key.

The spaces that you create are aimed at developing your child’s skills and preparation for life. While further prompting their personal interest and hobbies.

Potential problems that I may experience

Your child may not “like it”. Often you may experience push back and tantrums from your child. DO NOT GIVE UP. Move forward. One strategy that you can utilize is to provide your child with an immediate reward for a specific amount of time in the learning space.

For instance, if your child spends 5 minutes in the learning space that is focused on “learning time” you can provide an immediate reward that he or she will find suitable.

 cover image by annie spratt; leo rivas micoud