Homework and children with autism
Students and homework. It can be a very big challenge for parents to find a way to get their children to lock in and focus so they get their homework done. Students with autism are no different than other students and parents need to provide the proper structure to make homework time a productive time.
“Children with autism do much better with a regular routine. That goes for doing chores around the house, going outside to play, going to school and, in particular, doing homework. Developing a homework routine is key to getting their work done,” said Dr. Jeffrey Robinson, founder and director of Behavioral Concepts, Inc., a company of behavioral clinicians specializing in the care of children with autism in Central Massachusetts.
Dr. Robinson encourages parents to have a set time for homework—e.g. directly after dinner. You should also select a place where you are not likely to be interrupted by other members of the household or other family activities (e.g. using the dinner table would not be advised). You may want to consider a separate room in the house just for homework.
Scheduling a time do homework is another key. You want to select a time when you and your child can sit down, uninterrupted, and focus. After dinner is usually a good time for students and parents as you’ve had a chance to get home, get some nourishment and unwind before hitting the books. Avoid late night homework sessions when you are both too tired to work.
“To keep students interested, you also want to incorporate their interests into their studies. For example, if they are asked to read a book a night and your child likes football, find a book about football or one that has football as part of the storyline,” said Dr. Robinson.
Dr. Robinson also encourages rewards for students doing their homework. The reward can be a continuation of what your child has in school (e.g. stickers for a completed assignment) or it can be something you come up with on your own (e.g. 30 minutes of computer time for successfully completed homework).
“In addition to the one-on-one attention from you, the parent, it’s also key to coordinate closely with the school and your child’s teachers so that homework sessions are reinforcing what your child is learning at school. Your teacher may also have some insights on how your child learns best to make homework time productive and issue-free,” said Dr. Robinson.
Based in Worcester, Mass. BCI provides much needed services to children with autism and their families. BCI instructional programs are delivered using discrete trial training, task analysis, and systematic prompting procedures implemented by ABA therapists who have successfully completed pre-service training, on-site, and quarterly evaluations by their clinical supervisors.
Instruction is provided across a variety of domains, included by not limited to: Activities of daily living, functional and augmentative communication, functional academics and community outings and safety awareness. Social skills groups with peer models are also offered as part of BCI’s services. A heavy emphasis is placed on generalization and maintenance of skills, in addition to family training, so that families may implement the supports and carry-over skills in the home.
For questions about programs offered by BCI, please visit www.bciaba.org or call 508-363-0200.
About Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI)
Founded in 2002, BCI provides educational, behavioral, consultative and assessment services to children with autism and their families. These services are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and are tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients. It’s BCI’s goal to maximize individual potential, increase independence and enhance our clients’ quality of life within their home, school and community.
BCI provides center- and home-based services through health insurance and is an approved provider of Specialty ABA Services for Early Intervention in Central Massachusetts. BCI’s main care center, located at 345A Greenwood Street in Worcester, Massachusetts, offers intensive treatment for young children aged 3 to 6 years of age, an after-school program for all school aged children and a weekend social skills program. BCI also provides in-home services within a one-hour radius of Worcester.
BCI’s Corporate Offices are located in Mansfield, Mass. For complete information, visit http://bciaba.com or to arrange a consultation with a BCI clinician, please call (508) 363-0200.