11 Tips to Help Your Autistic Siblings With Distance Learning #rwanda #RwOT ##UCLdraw

1. Offer to do school activities with your sibling.

If there is a subject you enjoy in school that the teacher has given your sibling work to do in, offer to do it with them. You can bring the joy and love you have for the subject into the learning for your sibling, which can be a fun experience for you both.

2. Do PE, music, or any other subjects you both find interesting.

Something as simple as a walk for PE, playing with toy musical instruments for music or collecting things from nature in your garden for science can give you and your sibling time to bond and learn together.

Freya and her brother playing in water.

3. Have lunch break together.

It is a very simple thing to do but can be a nice experience to have with your sibling. You can use it as a time to take a break from your own learning and spend time with your sibling. It also shows them that you have the same kind of schedule they have, and it could help them feel more connected to you.

4. While the parent/guardian acts as the teacher figure, you act as the classmate figure.

You’ll notice that your parent/guardian may act as the teacher to your sibling, giving them the work to do and completing tasks with them. They have one teacher in school so it is important they have one teacher at home; it could be confusing otherwise. Instead, be their classmate. Offer help, do fun activities with them, and show them you are a friend, not an authority figure.

5. Be part of their routine.

Doing simple things like getting up and starting your school day when they do can encourage them to feel like they are in a learning/school setting. Pointing out similarities between your day and theirs shows them that you must do your work too.

6. Offer additional work to do with them, for example, coloring, drawing, turn-taking games.

It is OK to not just stick with the assigned work given to your sibling. If you have ideas you think they’ll enjoy that are suited to their ability, do those activities with them. You could introduce a new interest to them and have a wonderful bonding experience. Most importantly, by doing activities with your siblings, you are making them feel included in your daily life.

7. Show them how you deal with problems you experience while learning.

As you experience problems with your learning, it is important to show that in front of your sibling, not hide it. They will realize that you sometimes struggle just like them. They may also want to copy you and how you cope with problems so this could be a good way to show them the best way to handle problems.

8. If they use a visual schedule, show them your homework journal/planner.

Showing them how you track your to-do list and daily tasks could encourage them to do theirs. They may look at you as a role model and as you tick off things that you must do for learning, they could want to do the same and tick tasks off their schedule. This could help keep them focused.

9. Offer to do sensory and therapy work with them.

If your sibling enjoys sensory activities, you could set up sensory stations for them. This could involve water, fidget toys, or anything they enjoy touching. If your sibling likes to put things in their mouth, avoid small items or food-like substances like slime. These stations could be used as sensory breaks between each piece of work. You could also offer to do their therapy work with them such as occupational therapy or speech and language therapy. Often the exercises involved are uncomplicated so they would be easy for you to understand and complete with them. Doing this work with them can offer a wonderful bonding experience.

10. Make learning fun, interactive and a joyous experience.

Most importantly, make learning fun so they will keep wanting to learn. Include them and involve things they love to encourage them to take part. Learning shouldn’t be sitting at a table for hours; sensory breaks, activities away from the desk are all just as important.

11. Lastly, please remember everything is trial and error.

It is OK if they have bad days or don’t take an interest in something you suggest, but don’t give up. Keep trying new things, focus on other subjects, try the same activities involving different objects they like. It is all trial and error, and it is OK to get it wrong. It is important as siblings that we don’t stop trying, and show them we are not going to give up on them.


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