The best lesson plans for children with autism focus on the issues that specifically challenge these kids, while building on the strengths and interests that make your child unique. While there are some free autism-specific lesson plans available on the Internet, there are also many excellent options available for purchase.
Buying Lesson Plans for Children with Autism
You can expect to spend between $25 and $400 on lesson plans for children on the spectrum. The cost varies significantly, depending on whether the plans come with materials and how much material the lesson plan covers. Some sites allow you to purchase single plans that cover one lesson, while others require that you buy an entire unit of teaching materials.
The following websites specialize in lesson plans for children on the autism spectrum.
Rethink Autism offers educational and assessment products that target the challenges that come with this disorder. You'll find a wide variety of lesson plans, as well as accompanying videos and classroom materials.
National Autism Resources
National Autism Resources is an autism specialty site featuring educational toys, teacher materials, and other products. They have a good selection of lesson plans available for purchase. Plans target all major areas of educational development, including math, science, reading, social skills, and many others.
ModelMe Kids has a great selection of video modeling products that capitalize on many autistic children's visual learning strengths. There are lesson plans for social skills that kids will need to succeed with peers.
Watch Me Learn
Time4Learning is an online service that specializes in lessons for children with autism. The site is targeted at parents of children on the spectrum, but teachers may also find these resources helpful.
Tucci Learning Solutions
Tucci Learning Solutions offers lesson plans that specifically target the behavioral challenges of autism. The plans offered on this site combine some of the practices of applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and typical special education routines.
Amazon.com sells lesson plans for special education teachers that focus on autism. One great plan, Autism and Reading Comprehension: Ready-to-use Lessons for Teachers, focuses on teaching reading skills to children with autism.
Other Resources in Your Community
You may also be able to purchase lesson plans from other teachers or from autism support groups in your community. Talk to other professionals in your school about plans that have worked well for them. If you know a teacher who is retiring or changing jobs, consider approaching him or her about purchasing classroom materials at a discounted price.
Also check professional publications and Internet classified sites like Craigslist for used lesson plans. Although these plans are older, they may still be very effective in teaching children with autism.
Tips for Using Lesson Plans for Children with Autism
When choosing lesson plans to buy for children with autism, keep the following tips in mind:
- Be aware of the child's current developmental functioning level. While plans may target a specific age, this age may not be accurate for all children. Some children may be operating well below the expected age level in certain areas.
- Target a specific child's strengths and challenges. For instance, many children with autism are excellent visual learners and would benefit from a video modeling approach. More rarely, others are almost exclusively auditory learners, and this approach would not be effective.
- Consider a child's goals. Reference the individualized education plan (IEP) if necessary, and choose lesson plans that teach toward the goals identified for this child.
- Try different lesson plans to see what works best for a specific child. Some sites offer sample plans that you can try for free. That way, you can see if that approach is effective.
Find a Lesson Plan to Fit Your Style and Students
The Internet is an excellent resource for buying autism-specific lesson plans. Take some time to peruse the options and choose a plan that's right for your teaching style, your budget, and your students.