People who are autistic have impaired communication skills and difficulty interacting with others. Finding ways to motivate autistic children is essential to helping them develop social, behavioral and language skills. Early intervention is key to helping them develop life skills, which are becoming easier to teach with new motivational methods. Read on to learn more about how to motivate autistic children.

  • Motivate autistic children through play therapy that teaches skills, encourages self-expression and provides a sense of accomplishment.
  • Motivate autistic children by allowing them to choose the stimulus or activity, such as jumping or dancing. Join them in their activity until the child makes eye contact or communicates spontaneously.

  • Encourage activities such as “social stories” and “scripting” that can help verbal and non-verbal children with autism learn appropriate behavioral skills. Early intervention can decrease social isolation and improve communication skills.

  • Use positive reinforcement to keep lines of communication open during learning sessions and therapy. Prompting another try after an incorrect answer, or praising a correct answer can motivate a child to respond more often.

  • Introduce new tasks and drills in addition to familiar ones to keep learning fun and interesting. Though structure and routine are essential to teaching many skills and providing a comfort zone, studies have shown that autistic children are better behaved, stay more focused, learn faster and give more correct responses when tasks are varied.

  • Incorporate sensory integration activities that either increase or decrease the level of sensory stimulation an autistic child receives. Autistic children may be overwhelmed by sensory input and occupational therapists can engage them in activities that can help them filter what they are sensing.

  • Motivate autistic children through music therapy. Some autistic children can sing even when they cannot speak, and exposure to songs with simple, repetitive phrases can help them develop language skills. Singing can also help autistic children eliminate monotone speech patterns by learning to match musical rhythms. Music therapy can enhance social interaction by motivating autistic children to participate in group activities, such as music class.

  • Reward good behavior with access to favorite toys, objects, or sensory stimulation bins containing sand, water, nuts and other materials.

Read more: How to Motivate Autistic Children |