Mental Wellness Wednesday: Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month. Let’s celebrate some strengths.

While children with autism can experience difficulty in using language and expressing / understanding emotions, their declarative memory — memory for facts and events — is often very strong. This powerful memory system can help them memorize not just interesting facts, but also rules to help them navigate social situations.

In my Children’s book, The Perfect Project, we see how children with autism can use their superpower of memory.

3 Tips for Boosting Memory Skills:

Here are some handy tips for boosting memory skills to help children get the most out of their superpowers:

-List it. This fun game can increase how quickly children remember things because it keeps the link from our working memory to our long-term memory active. In 10 seconds, list as many vegetables as you can. Try it again, this time with fruits, colors, names, etc.

-Learn before snoozing. If children struggle to remember information before a big exam, encourage them to revisit it before they go to sleep. Studies show that learning just before bedtime can help your memory store all the information safely and allow you to remember it better.

-Draw it. Studies show that just 20 minutes of drawing can boost working memory. So encourage children to grab a blank piece of paper and some coloring pencils and have fun.