Homework with an autistic child

Big greetings to everyone! Today we will talk about doing homework. Alice graduated from the first grade of a type 8 boarding school. Not everything was smooth, but it gradually got better. If you are interested, I wrote more about the school here and here.

For some reason, I was surprised when a question was asked in the comments to one of the previous articles about how Alice does her homework. Probably because for me they are something ordinary, and there are no difficulties with it, or rather with its implementation. Thank you for asking questions, it allows you to take a closer look at some moments and it’s just nice.

So, homework.

Alice is generally used to us doing something with her all the time. At first, just drawings, applications, classes with cereals, then, when speech therapists, psychologists and speech pathologists joined, homework appeared. I do not know why we are doing well at home. Most likely because I like it myself. I am happy to look for interesting and necessary tasks on the web, download them and print them out. I’m not sure that the set of classes that we do at home is 100% balanced and works for all the goals that we strive for, but at least she has the skill to work at the table and complete tasks.

A wonderful specialist, a Montessori teacher, a speech therapist, a defectologist and others helped me a lot once, to whom we got to intensive. When classes were coming to an end, she asked me to bring those toys and manuals for which we study at home and at the last lesson I showed how we study with Alice, and she commented and corrected. Those 40 minutes of classes gave me more than anything I had read before. In addition to knowledge, she helped to build a clear motivation system for Alice and implement it. Then, for each completed task, I rocked her in a blanket. Gradually, the number of tasks for one promotion increased, and then there was one left — at the end of the lesson. In addition, the number of swings decreased, we started with 10 and came to one, and then completely refused encouragement. All this happened when we first moved to Anapa, Alice was 4.5 then and she could easily study at home for an hour without breaks.

So, when Alice went to school, the question of homework did not bother me at all (I had enough worries without it). My daughter likes to study at school and she also liked it, no matter what, and after everything settled down and Alice switched to individual work with the teacher, it became quite wonderful.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a clear schedule for homework. Usually we do it in the evening, but we can forget and then we have to do it in the morning, before school. Alice herself takes out pencils, a pen, notebooks from her briefcase, sits down at the table. I read the assignment and explain it to her, it often happens that she herself understands what is required of her (for example, if it is necessary to circle the dotted line). We begin to perform hand in hand, but then I remove my help. Sometimes Alice does not notice that I have removed my hand and continues to write, but more often she feels it very clearly and stops, she needs me to touch at least her elbow. We continue to work on this.

On average, it takes 30 minutes to complete homework, if there are tasks from a defectologist, then about an hour. We can supplement the fulfillment of the task with our own tasks, for example, drawing or spelling letters. Once finished, Alice puts everything back into the briefcase and puts it back in its place. Receives a portion of well-deserved praise and goes about his business.

If you compare homework with your son, who studied at a regular school and has no diagnoses other than astigmatism, then it’s easier with Alice for now. She has the skill of doing tasks at home and it was very easy to include homework from the teacher in this skill. Alice does not try to dodge homework, but sometimes she tries to cheat and do everything quickly, but somehow, she has to slow down. We could sit with Ruslan for hours, I tried to explain so that he would understand, it didn’t always work out, it seemed to me that homework was torture for parents and students. I guess I hadn’t learned Zen yet. I am very glad that the eldest child has already graduated from school, although thanks to his training, I learned and understood those topics in algebra and geometry that seemed to me like a dark forest at school. While I was writing, I remembered that at one time, when Ruslan was in elementary school, we had developed an incentive system. On a large blackboard, we wrote all his subjects and grades on them with a marker. For every five, he received some amount of money (I won’t lie, I don’t remember exactly what, almost 10 years have passed), for a four, too, but a little less, for a three, part of the money was deducted, for a two, too, but more. As a result, at the end of the year, he earned a certain amount, with which he bought a long-awaited gift.

It turns out that with both children, we first of all tried to establish a system of motivation and, I want to believe, we acted correctly. Today Ruslan gave his diploma, which he prepared himself, to the firmware. I read and slightly edited his work, but I was pleased that his text is logical, the introduction is written correctly and the work itself is very holistic and interesting. And it was very important to me that he prepared this work himself and I am very proud of it.

I got a little carried away. Good luck to you, dear parents, patience in this difficult task of doing homework!