Strategies to help children with Autism


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological developmental disorder that affects individuals' communication, social interactions, and behaviour.

Children with autism face various challenges in their daily lives — ADL (Activities of Daily Living), academics, socialising with peer, comprehending things and surroundings, taking instructions and expressing themselves.There can be issues in the timely development of speech and language. There may be a delay in proper development in gross and fine motor of a child.

However, with the right strategies and support, we can empower these children to reach their full potential. In this article, we will explore effective strategies that can benefit children with autism, focusing on areas such as communication, social skills, behaviour management, and sensory needs.

1. Communication Strategies

Communication plays a vital role in the development of individuals with autism. Here are some strategies to support their communication skills: Visual Supports: Using visual aids like picture schedules, social stories, and visual cues can help children with autism comprehend and follow instructions more effectively.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): Implementing AAC systems, such as communication boards or speech-generating devices, can provide additional means of expression for children with limited verbal communication.

Social Communication Training: Engaging children in social communication training programs, such as Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy, can help them develop important skills like initiating conversations, turn-taking, and understanding non-verbal cues.

2. Enhancing Social Skills

Children with autism may struggle with social interactions. Here are strategies to support their social development and foster meaningful connections: Social Skills Training: Implementing structured social skills training programs, such as group therapy or social skills groups, can teach children important social cues, empathy, taking instructions and perspective building.

Peer Mentoring: Encouraging peer interactions and providing opportunities for children with autism to engage with neurotypical peers can be beneficial. Peer mentors can serve as positive role models and support social integration.

Visual Supports for Social Interactions: Visual supports, such as social scripts or video modelling, can help children understand and imitate appropriate social behaviours in various situations.

3. Behaviour Management

Children with autism may exhibit challenging behaviours. Employing effective behaviour management strategies can promote positive behaviours and reduce problematic ones:

Positive Reinforcement: Regulating positive reinforcement techniques, such as token economy systems or rewards, can encourage desired behaviours and motivate children with autism.

Visual Schedules: Creating visual schedules outlining daily routines and activities can provide predictability and minimise anxiety, helping children better manage their behaviours.

Functional Behaviour Analysis: Conducting function-based assessments can help identify the underlying reasons behind challenging behaviours. With this knowledge, interventions can be tailored to address those specific triggers and needs.

4. Sensory Needs

Many children with autism have sensory processing issues. Timely addressing their sensory needs can create a more conducive and comfortable environment:

Sensory Diets: Developing individualised sensory diets that include activities to regulate sensory input can help children self-regulate and manage sensory challenges throughout the day.

Sensory Breaks: Providing designated spaces for sensory breaks, equipped with calming sensory tools like weighted blankets or fidget toys, can offer children an opportunity to relax and reset.

Environmental Modifications: Creating a sensory-friendly environment by reducing excessive sensory stimuli (such as noise or bright lights) and offering visual supports can enhance comfort and focus for children with autism. 5. Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy can be highly beneficial for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by addressing various challenges they may face.

Fine and Gross Motor Skills:Occupational therapists can design Individualised Therapy Plans (ITPs) to enhance motor skills. These plans may involve activities like hand exercises, coordination drills, and sensory-motor play. Improved motor skills can lead to greater independence in self-care activities and participation in school and recreational activities, promoting overall development and social inclusion.

Daily Living Skills: Children with autism often struggle with everyday tasks such as dressing, eating, and maintaining personal hygiene. Therapy can teach adaptive techniques and promote the use of visual supports and schedules to increase a child’s independence in daily living skills.


Supporting children with autism involves a multifaceted approach that addresses their unique needs in communication, social skills, behaviour management, and sensory regulation. By implementing these strategies and providing a supportive and inclusive environment, we can empower children with autism to thrive, enhance their overall well-being, and facilitate their integration into society. Remember, every child with autism is unique, so it’s important to tailor these strategies to their specific strengths and challenges, while always promoting acceptance, understanding, and inclusivity.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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