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Using Circuit Building Kits to Teach Communication, Academic, and Other Skills

A photo of my son (about 10 years old at the time) working on soldering an LED light badge.

If you've been following me a while, you know I think it's important to teach science to students with autism. With all of the other skills our students are working on, science is easy to overlook. It might not seem as important as communication or social skills, but it has lots of benefits, including supporting language and social skills. Here are some of the reasons I feel so enthusiastic about teaching things like technology and electricity to students:

  • People with autism are often naturally interested in technology, so you can use it to increase motivation for learning,

  • Learning about robotics, electronics, and technology can help students learn stills that may help them in the workforce,

  • Doing these activities can help work on fine-motor skills,

  • Learning electronics and robotics can lead to social/educational opportunities. I'd love to see more students with autism join the robotics teams at their high schools. Meeting others with similar interests can increase opportunities for friendship and socialization.

Here are some examples of things to teach using a great kit called SnapCircuits. Snap circuits are a great, kid-friendly way to introduce these basic concepts. They're also really fun because they have lights, spinners, and other cool things.


Identifying Numbers:


Fine Motor Skills:

A Naturalistic Way to Do ABA "Block Imitation"

With Kids' Circuit Building Kits

If your children or students are working on "block imitation" in an ABA program, here's a free extension activity you can use to help generalize the imitation skills in a fun way:

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