Method of teaching autistic children at Montessori kindergarten.
Have you ever seen a little child who always looks sad? They seem like nothing can interest them? Nowadays, the number of autistic children is really alarming.
1. What is autism? What are the symptoms of autistic children?
Before having appropriate teaching methods for children with autism. We need to understand what autism is?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a brain syndrome that is thought to be a form of defect or delay in development. Which can make life difficult for people who have it. Especially in terms of social communication is greatly hindered. However, if detected and treated quickly. Autistic people will easily develop themselves and reintegrate into everyday life.
Autism now occurs at an alarming rate especially among children between the ages of 6 and 17 years. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. – 1 out of 50 children have ASD.
Some of the symptoms of autistic children:
- Quiet, difficult to communicate in the language.
- Ignoring people around them, often focused on their own world.
- Less playing alone, difficult to get along with friends of the same age.
- Overactive or over passive.
- Focus on the toys rather than the people around them.
- Lack of awareness of danger.
- Difficult to adapt to unusual changes in the surrounding environment.
- The senses are extremely sensitive, especially sensitive to sound.
- Laughing and crying under the wrong circumstances.
The signs of autism syndrome in children before 24 months:
- No babbling talk at 12 months old.
- There has been no gesture to show concern around at 12 months old: pointing fingers, waving hands to welcome when meeting relatives, shaking hands, making eye contact, smiling back at acquaintances …
- Can’t say even just a single word at 16 months.
- Can’t say 2-word sentences at 24 months.
- Loss of language and communication skills at any age.
2. Methods of teaching at the Montessori Kindergarten:
One of the biggest challenges parents face is when their children have autism but cannot find an effective educational method.
Fortunately, we can be sure that the Montessori method is the most suitable teaching method for children with autism.
3. Here are some reasons to choose Montessori as a teaching method for autistic children:
- In Montessori classrooms, the clothes and teaching materials are arranged in an orderly, neat, and tidy manner. Children with autism don’t like changing. They will feel secure in an environment that provides order and consistency.
- Autistic children like to observe things many times before they try to do something on their own.In the Montessori environment, autistic children have enough freedom and time to do what they want. They are free to observe and then try to play with toys at their own pace. Children will not be coerced or punished at all.
- While in the Montessori classroom, children are free to:
- + Choice – They can choose what they want
+ Time – Children are allowed to do everything according to their time budget
+ Repeat – They can repeat an actionWith these freedoms, children with autism learn to be independent. They will become more confident. Children with autism love to repeat things because it helps them feel calm and less agitated by the outside environment.
- Children in the Montessori classroom have the right to freely socialize and interact with their peers throughout the day.This offers many opportunities for children with autism to develop communication and social skills that are usually difficult for them.
- In the Montessori environment, children learn and play with very independent teaching aids in a large space.Therefore, the less noisy classroom will help calm the minds of autistic children. Large, noisy groups can cause great distress in an autistic child.
- The Montessori method teaches children the fundamental rules that all teachers and children should follow.
These basic rules are practiced often through the game ‘Social Grace and Courtesy’. In order to that, this benefits kids with autism, who spend a lot of time learning socially accepted rules.
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