Learning about numbers with autism

Learning about numbers with autism can be very challenging.  The general understanding of numbers and what they represent is a concept that most learners on the spectrum battle with.  But it is a vital skill that these children need to learn.

The child needs to learn the concept of numbers and of counting, matching of numbers and pictures to numbers, numbers and place values as well as the actual numerals and what they represent.  Numbers are needed for mathematics, for telling time and for so many other day to day elements like catching the right bus or choosing the correct size clothes.

Some of the techniques that Amazing K Autism School uses to help our learners with number and number concepts includes:

  • visual cues in the classrooms
  • counting into and out-off activities in the class as well as on the playground
  • counting forward and backwards and helping the child understand that numbers can work both ways
  • matching games (number to number and number to pictures)
  • number puzzles
  • using counters to help make the concept more visual when counting and when using numbers in class
  • singing number songs and getting the children to participate by clapping or stamping their feet

Learning about numbers should form a natural part of the child day to day life at school as well as at home.  The more natural the integration of numbers is into the child’s routine the better the chances are of the child’s understanding and use of them.  Number can and should be fun!


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Ilse Kilian-Ross

Ilse Kilian-Ross is the owner of Amazing K, a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. Amazing K is a private adhd school, autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 - 6 years where learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. The autism school offers Individualized Education Programs, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum.