If you've been following me a while, you know I think it's important to teach science to students with autism. With all of the other skills our students are working on, science is easy to overlook. It might not seem as important as communication or social skills, but it has lots of benefits, including supporting language and social skills.
Here are some of the reasons I feel so strongly about teaching things like technology and electricity to students:
- People with autism are often naturally interested in technology, so you can use it to increase motivation for learning,
- Learning about robotics, electronics, and technology can help students learn stills that may help them in the workforce,
- Doing these activities can help develop and improve fine-motor skills,
- Learning electronics and robotics can lead to social/educational opportunities. I'd love to see more students with autism join the robotics teams at their high schools. Meeting others with similar interests can increase opportunities for friendship and socialization.
Here are some examples of things to teach using a great kit called SnapCircuits:
Introduce basic concepts about electricity and circuits with this printable, hands-on activity set. Includes background info for teachers, so you can just print the pages and start the lessons with almost no prep! You can also just show the pages on a tablet, computer or phone screen. Each page has everything on it that you need to say and do with your student. Note: these lessons are designed to be used with a kit like SnapCircuits.
If your children or students are working on "block imitation" in an ABA program, here's a free extension activity you can use to help generalize the imitation skills in a fun way.