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montessori and autism

6 Reasons Why Montessori Works For Autistic Children

6 Reasons Why Montessori Works
For Autistic Children

April is World Autism Awareness month, which is why it is very appropriate for me to share with you the 6 Reasons why Montessori method works very well for Autistic children.

Did you know ???  Autism now affects 1 in every 68 children and 1 in every 42 boys!

What exactly is Autism?

It is a term that is used to include many disorders within the ‘Autism Spectrum’.

Autism Spectrum disorders include:

  • Impairments in communication
  • Difficulties in socialization
  • Hyper-sensory sensitivity.
  • Need for repetitive and ritualistic behaviours.

Children with these special needs highly benefit from Montessori method of learning. Here are 6 Reasons why…

  1. In Montessori’s classroom, materials are placed in order on open shelves. There is consistency.

Autism-spectrum children do not like change. They feel safe in an environment that provides order and consistency.

 

  1. Autism-spectrum children likes to observe things many times before they make their own attempt to try to do something themselves.

Montessori allows for this to happen. Children are given the freedom to observe and then to try out working with the materials at their own pace. They are never forced into doing anything.

 

  1. In a Montessori classroom, children are given the freedom of:
  • Choice – They choose the materials they want to work with
  • Time – They work at their own pace
  • Repetition – They can work as many times as they like with the materials

With these freedoms, autism-spectrum children learn to be independent, build confidence and self-esteem. They also love repetition and are under no-pressure making them calm and less likely to have melt-downs.

 

  1. Children in a Montessori classroom have the freedom to socialize and interact with their peers all day long.

This provides numerous opportunities to an autism-spectrum child to develop social and communication skills that are very difficult for them.

 

  1. Montessori environment is more relaxed and less noisy with children working individually with their materials in a spacious classroom.

Large and noisy groups can cause major distress to Autism-spectrum children.

 

  1. Montessori method teaches children ground rules that all teachers and children follow. These ground rules are practiced regularly through ‘Social Grace and Courtesy’ game.

This is beneficial for autism-spectrum children who take a long time to learn socially acceptable rules.

 

There are many well-researched scholarly articles on the benefits of Montessori for Autistic children. Here are some references for further reading:

Public Articles: Autism and Montessori

Eric: Autism and Montessori

 

To learn more on Montessori and Autism, visit:

http://montessori4autism.org/

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