10 Teaching Tools for Preschool and Kindergarten Age Kids with Autism

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Introduction

At ThinkPsych, we often have teachers ask us for recommendations for resources for their classroom. Below is a list of our top recommendations for resources to help support ABA instruction in either a preschool or kindergarten classroom. While some of these materials will be beneficial for older kids, they will be invaluable in a classroom with younger children.

Go-Together Flash Cards

This set is perfect for teaching kids to associate objects that “go together”. For example, you can present a child with a picture of a toothbrush and they have to select a picture of toothpaste from an array. The best part about this set of cards is that they are very inexpensive and affordable to replace if they get damaged.

Teach My Toddler Kit

We love this kit! It comes with materials to teach kids the alphabet, colors, numbers, and shapes. It includes a step-by-step teaching guide to help you use this kit effectively.

Mr Potato Head

This timeless classic has been used in preschool and kindergarten classrooms for years! It is a great tool for improving the fine motor coordination of young children. It also teaches children to recognize the parts of a face such as ears, eyes, mouth, and nose.

Play-Doh

This is a classic toy! Many children with autism enjoy the sensory feel of Play-Doh. Not only is it fun to manipulate, but it can also be useful to teach a variety of fine motor imitation skills (e.g., rolling a log, making a pancake, cutting out a shape).

Galaxy Slime

This gooey, colorful slime is perfect for sensory stimulation and stress relief! Many kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder love the feeling of slime. Can also be a great reinforcer.

Language Builder Picture Cards

This set of 350 noun cards is perfect for teaching children with autism language. We particularly appreciate the duplicate cards that allow children to learn matching, sorting, receptive language, and expressive language. The only downside of this set is expensive, but it will hopefully last you years in the classroom.

Melissa and Doug Mickey Mouse Puzzle

This chunky puzzle is perfect for kiddos just beginning to complete puzzles on their own. The large pieces are durable and difficult to lose. This will help teach children to match pictures. It also is fun and can become a reinforcer for many students!

Melissa and Doug Stacker Toy

This colorful stacker not only helps to improve fine motor coordination, but also can teacher children sizes and colors.

Melissa and Doug Shape Sorter

This simple toy is fantastic for teaching children about shapes and improving their fine motor skills.

Visual Schedule Kit

A visual schedule is invaluable to help students with autism learn their routines and to provide a sense of comfort and security. This kit includes 153 magnetic pictures that can be placed on any metallic surface (e.g., whiteboard, refrigerator, file cabinet).

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Anton Shcherbakov, Psy.D, BCBA

Anton Shcherbakov, Psy.D, BCBA

Dr. Anton Shcherbakov is a licensed Practicing Psychologist (NJ Lic. #35SI00592000) and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA #1-14-16071). He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology and his doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D) from Rutgers University. He has been working in the field of behavior analysis for over 10 years. He specializes in assessments and consultation for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in clinic, home, and school settings. He has provided training and professional development to teachers and psychologists on topics ranging from using mindfulness for reducing stress in the classroom to management of challenging behavior. He has also presented at local and national conferences on subjects such as behavior analysis and provider attitudes towards evidence-based practice.

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