All children, including those with autism, learn through motivating interactive experiences with other people. Understanding how to create dynamic and inviting social experiences for a child with autism is key to helping that child learn. Social engagement is also a dynamic process and the emotional state of the adults participating in the interaction is crucial. Creating an attitude of acceptance and appreciation is essential to inspiring a child with autism to engage and learn.
Special attention should be given to to the development of communication and language. By understanding how language develops and learning techniques to encourage development, we are able to inspire a child to make the sustained effort it takes to learn more language. Play-based social experiences for a child with autism can captivate a child and inspire social engagement and thus encourage social development and the corresponding language development.
Many clinical studies have found autistic children to be especially challenged because they are unable to ‘filter’ all the sensory stimuli they may be receiving. A child with autism, for example, might not be able to deal with all he or she sees, hears, smells or feels all at the same time and might be overwhelmed and even frightened in a typical environment.
Understanding the neurology of autism enables the design of both physical and social environments that support children in their learning process. By observing a child we are able to create an optimal environment for that child with autism by adapting both the physical and social environments.