Auditory: Activities 11 – 19
The following strategies are suitable for most students, particularly those with sensory difficulties. Each strategy can be adapted to complement the students’ curriculum and individualised education plan.
Teenagers with autism often experience:
- Poor self esteem
- Changing hormones
- Emotional sensitivity
- A desire to ‘fit in’ and be independent
Teachers should encourage teenage students with autism:
- To get involved in a wide range of activities, clubs and hobbies
- To talk about sensory issues positively e.g. are there certain jobs or roles that would benefit from a heightened sense of auditory skills? What other strengths does this student have and how can they be best utilised?
- To choose their own sensory strategies in partnership with a teacher/ parent
- To engage in anxiety management and emotional regulation techniques.
Below are some examples of sensory strategies that can be incorporated into various classroom lessons and activities.
Rhythm & Beat
- Use rhythm by substituting own words for that of a familiar tune, this can help gain attention and aid memory (e.g. this works particularly well for learning times tables and spelling)
- Clap hands or use percussion instruments as part of the lesson, this may help gain attention
- Examples of activities include:
- Poetry recitals
- Performing role plays or impersonating e.g a character from history, help reinforce information and further develop auditory skills
- Practicing speeches and timing of talking with other students encourages social development and allows the student to experiment with voice volume and rhythm of speech
- Drama may help improve memory, learning and revision skills as it often involves writing a script, reading the script, repeating the script aloud.
- Drama could be performed through the use of puppets
- Attention Autism activities encourage attention through controlled auditory and visually stimulating activities (Link to attention autism)
- Get the students attention before talking, this can be achieved through a physical prompt e.g. patting hand, getting class to stand up; an auditory prompt e.g. a favourite noise, singing instructions; a visual prompt e.g. pointing to a visual that means ‘listen’.
- When giving instructions and information it is a good idea to:
- Reduce auditory distractions e.g. background noise, other students talking
- Simplify language
- Repeat sentence
- Ask student to repeat sentence back to check for understanding
- Give the student time to respond to questions (don’t interrupt or rush to fill silence)
- Story telling can be a great way to encourage listening skills (Link to storytelling seminar). Methods of storytelling can encourage attention, listening, turn taking and memory skills:
- Use rhythm to tell story
- Get the students to repeat sections or words of the story back to you
- Use movement to help tell the story and encourage the students to imitate your actions
- Use your voice (amplify some sections and whisper others depending on story)
- A group or class story telling exercise
- Speaking and listening games and activities