Some children thrive when given structured hands-on or visual activities

Many children I have worked with or have observed, did very well (sat nicely, worked diligently, etc.) when given a hands-on/visual activity. Examples include playing a computer game, sorting objects by color or object type (for example, putting the silverware away from the dishwasher, sorting laundry by light and dark, putting materials away in the correct boxes, etc.) completing a puzzle, constructing a model car, tracing or coloring in a picture, etc. As another example, some teachers of children with autism teach academic skills through sorting tasks. For instance, an activity about learning colors would require the child to put all the yellow chips in a yellow cup, all the blue chips in a blue cup, etc. Keeping a child focused with an activity they do well at is a great way to encourage calm behavior. However, if the child is feeling overwhelmed or frustrated from the activity, allow a break or a change in the task.

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