Homework, Part 2

Part 1 of this discussion about homework discussed autism-related factors that may escalate the conflict between parents and students when kids come home with a back-pack filled with homework. How can we diffuse the situation and make school nights more peaceful?

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Although homework can be challenging for all parents, families of children with autism face even more challenges. In part 1 of the homework discussion, we outlined some of the factors that contribute to homework battles It is up to teachers to take all these factors into consideration when assigning homework. And it is up to family members to set the tone for homework each evening. Here are two strategies that you might want to consider when setting up your regular evening routine.

TURN OFF THE TELEVISION. All kids, especially those functioning on the spectrum of autism, are easily distracted by television and other media swirling around them. Your children are far more important than your favorite television stars or internet game. Television shows rerun. Children’s lives do not.

TABLE TIME. Homework can become a dreaded chore if kids are sent off to their rooms and told, under no uncertain terms, to finish before emerging into the light. A better strategy might be to treat homework like an adventure, not a punishment. Set up an atmosphere of working together by gathering around the table every evening for everyone in the family to do “homework.” Parents can write letters, pay bills, or read the newspaper. When homework assignments are finished, play an educational game, color a picture for grandma, or read a Ranger Rick magazine, a chapter of My Side of the Mountain, or another age appropriate, interesting magazine or book each night.

TIP FOR THE DAY: Proactive steps can prevent homework from erupting into a nightly battle. Parents who want to take full advantage of the family homework time will find some great resources by clicking on the Toolkit tab on our website http://FAQautism.com

NOTE TO READERS AND LISTENERS: I am Cathy Knoll, a board certified music therapist and long-time friend of many folks with autism. At FAQautism.com we are committed to providing free, practical, everyday tips for making life better for people with autism. Feel free to send me a confidential email at talk@FAQautism.com with your thoughts or challenging situations or innovative solution. And don’t forget to check out our website for a wealth of ideas and a glimpse into the world of autism. http://FAQautism.com

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