Routine songs are great ways to practice joint attention skills and learn new concepts!
When you use a routine song, you decrease the cognitive load placed on your child’s brain. Many times this decreased cognitive load allows a child’s brain to process and retain new information. Predictable routines can also increase focus on 2 way back and forth interaction. This is again due to less resources being spent learning new information!
I learned a song in graduate school called “the zoo song”. It’s sung to the tune of “Do you know the muffin man?”.
Here are the lyrics.
“Do you know the Lion
Do you know the Lion
He lives in the zoo”
(Repeat with any animal who might live in the zoo)
I’m attaching a visual support I made and use in therapy. Kids are always more likely to participate when they are part of the process. This visual support allows them to choose the animal about which they’d like to sing. You should point to the visual support as you sing. I didn’t repeat visuals for “the Lion” parts of the song that repeat. I simply point to “the Lion” from the previous line excluding the other lyrics.
You will need to demonstrate picking an animal and singing the song first. You might need to do this several times or possibly several practice sessions. They may even hate the song at first but keep trying! Sometimes kids on the spectrum need several tries before they accept a new routine. Don’t give up. Songs are powerful tools for intervention that might enhance your Autism upgrade!
Here’s the link to the visual support.