Cards are great visual tools in teaching and playing with ASD children. I tend to be careful with how I word teaching methods when it comes to ASD because of the fact it is a spectrum disorder, everyone learns differently. What may work for some children may not be the case for others.
I always had cards on hand to help with all my homeschooling lessons when my children were little. Cards are so easy to throw into purses and backpacks when out in the world either on road trips, errands, shopping, out to eat and visiting friends and family. They are great distractions and boredom busters when out with your children.
There were many times when I was at family bar-b-ques and events, even with friends when I would pull out a deck of cards to keep my children from getting bored and upset at events.
Waiting anywhere can cause melt downs and cards not only teach a lesson but they are a fun way for teaching social skills and turn taking.
Here are a few cards that my children loved playing with back in the day.
Alphabet cards- Buy two sets of any alphabet cards you purchase. If you have the time make your own using poster paper and letter stencils. Print up free coloring pages online and have the kids color their homemade cards themselves. When you have two sets of cards you can play matching games. Make sure one side of your cards has no markings on it and turn them all over face down then take turns flipping over two cards at a time to see how many letter matches you come up with. My kids loved spreading the cards out on the floor to do this and we all took turns trying to match up letters. You can do this anywhere, inside at a table or on a picnic blanket outside. When your children start recognizing the letters you can move onto more complicated games and instructions where they start pronouncing the sounds of each letter.
Character cards- what ever your child’s obsession is, there are usually card games out there with those characters on it. We loved Nemo in our home and watched it several times. Such a fun show, I will watch it today just because I am a fish fanatic. Character games and cards are so much fun when your kids are engaged because they are playing with their favorite animated friends.
Old maid- a classic game and sure way to get giggles from the little ones. I love the vintage old maid from the past because the characters were so strange looking and the titles always made me and my cousins laugh when we played with them. I still see this card game out there in the world to purchase. My favorite part is watching how kids will try to get each other to grab the old maid card by holding that card up higher then the others or putting the old maid card closes to the drawers hand.
Geographic cards- These are fun on road trips. Try to match the cards with license plates you see out there when driving and later read off each bit of information from each state. Information cards like these are also a great way to get early readers to practice reading skills. Each card has just the right amount of reading to make them seem less intimating then a whole book. They cover a lot of information in that one little paragraph.My daughter is 22 years old now and she still loves looking at maps.
Pecs cards- Now, it has been awhile since I have done anything in the ASD world so I know technology is so advanced that these cards are probably not being used as much…don’t know, But what I do know is how great these cards are for helping children who have ASD who may be non verbal.
They are great for scheduling activities for the day as well as teaching children how to communicate by bringing the card to you for something they want to do or eat, etc…
These cards were used on boxes for different toys. They were on the fridge, poster boards and chore charts in their bedrooms. Even if your child isn’t non verbal, these cards are a great way to organize their toys and rooms.
To make our card games last longer we lamented them. If you don’t have a lamenting machine you can usually get this done at copy centers or just buy clear thick packing tape and laminate that way.
Sometimes we would use our lamented cards playing games out by our pool. I liked switching the kids teaching areas when they were being home schooled. Always sitting at the kitchen table or bedroom desk can get so boring and sad. We even loaded up the little red wagon with teaching supplies and walked down to our neighborhood park to do lessons.When we were up north in the woods/valley fixing up Our Little Red House we would take lessons out to the woods and the creeks exploring and discovering all kind of cool things. Just remember, you know your child best, have fun with teaching them. Cards are perfect for sitting together and learning turn taking skills while having fun learning new subjects. Happy ASD adventures everyone.
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