Back to Back Issues Page
Autism news: This method could help your child with math
October 16, 2020

There’s nothing like seeing someone demonstrate something you want to learn. Maybe that’s one reason YouTube is so popular.

When I need to know how to clean that pesky soap scum in my shower, someone on YouTube will be there to give me the best idea I’ve ever seen.

Modeling is a great way to learn just about anything.

If it works for us, just imagine how well it can work for our kids!

Take, for example, the concept of zero.

For most typical (nondisabled) kids, zero in an equation might make solving it much easier. In the equation, 5 + 0 = 5, we know that when adding zero to any number, the answer is that number—in this case, 5.

But for some children with autism, the concept of zero may be hard to understand.

When teaching my son about zero, if I asked him to put zero blocks in the box, he would start counting, “1,2…” and I would have to stop him and say, “That’s a nice try, but zero is nothing. It means ‘none.’ So that means no blocks at all.”

This kept happening over and over again.

The idea that a number could represent NOTHING was a challenge for him to understand.

What should I do?

I then realized that simply showing him zero blocks just might do the trick. So I tried it.

Guess what? As soon as I tried modeling what I wanted him to do, he seemed to understand perfectly, and he immediately began answering correctly.

He had some difficulty with zero after that time, but there’s no doubt that modeling what I was trying to teach him helped a lot.

Later on, I plan to share more techniques that can help your child understand abstract math concepts.

But for now, I suggest adding modeling to your list of teaching methods, and see what happens!

Click the link at the end of this message to learn more autism teaching techniques you may find to be useful.

Warm Regards,

Kay Donato Click here to learn more autism teaching methods.

Back to Back Issues Page