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What is Active Engagement?

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Active engagement is when you do something with all your energy and have fun! It helps you learn better when you play games or talk with others.

Frequently Asked Question


How can parents incorporate active engagement at home?

Parents can incorporate active engagement at home by involving their child in activities they enjoy, such as playing games or doing fun projects, and by asking open-ended questions to keep their child interested and involved.

How can active engagement benefit autistic adults?

Active engagement can benefit autistic adults by helping them stay engaged in social situations and improving their communication and interpersonal skills.

Are there any risks associated with active engagement?

There are typically no risks associated with active engagement, as it is simply a way of encouraging children to be involved and interested in what they are doing. However, it’s important to monitor children to ensure that they are not becoming overwhelmed or overstimulated.

Can active engagement help with online learning?

Yes, active engagement is very effective in online learning; it keeps students interested and interactive, even through a screen.

Scientific Definition


Active engagement means fully participating in an activity with enthusiasm and focus, especially beneficial for kids with special needs. It involves children paying attention, asking questions, and working together, which helps in both school and home. Teachers and speech-language pathologists use this approach to make learning fun and effective, and it’s important for parents to encourage it at home too. By playing games, having conversations, and doing activities together, kids develop important skills and strengthen their bond with parents. Remember, when children are actively involved, they learn more and enjoy the process.

Video Explanation


Real World Example of Active Engagement

Active engagement techniques can greatly benefit children like Susie, a 6-year-old who struggles with communication and attention. Here’s how you can effectively apply active engagement with your child:

  1. Discover her interests: Take the time to understand Susie’s preferences and hobbies, whether it’s cars, dinosaurs, or something else entirely. This knowledge will help you design activities that she finds enjoyable and will be more motivated to participate in.
  2. Incorporate her interests: Create activities that involve her favorite subjects. For instance, set up a scavenger hunt where Susie searches for dinosaur toys around the room and names them when she finds them. Alternatively, play a game where she matches cars to their colors or names.
  3. Use positive language: Keep Susie engaged and motivated by using positive language during activities. Offer praise and encouragement, such as saying, “Fantastic job, Susie! You found a T-Rex! Can you tell me what color it is?” or “Wow, Susie! You matched the red car to the red block perfectly! You’re doing amazing!”
  4. Utilize visual aids: Enhance Susie’s understanding and focus by incorporating visual aids like pictures or drawings. These visuals will assist her in comprehending instructions and staying actively engaged.
  5. Allow for breaks: If Susie starts to lose interest or becomes distracted, it’s beneficial to provide short breaks before returning to the activity. This strategy helps her maintain focus and engagement over longer periods.

Active engagement is a powerful technique for supporting children’s learning and skill development.

How Does Active Engagement Work?

Active engagement works by involving children in activities that capture their interest, encouraging interaction, and promoting learning through participation:

Technique Description
Tailor to Interests Choose activities based on the child’s hobbies, like reading stories about their favorite animals.
Interactive Learning Use games and puzzles that require thinking and problem-solving.
Positive Reinforcement Offer praise for effort and achievements, enhancing motivation.
Visual Aids Incorporate pictures or videos to make concepts clearer.
Hands-on Experience Encourage hands-on activities like building or drawing, for practical learning.
Encourage Questions Invite the child to ask questions, fostering curiosity and understanding.
Breaks Are Okay Allow short breaks to prevent overwhelm and maintain focus.

By actively engaging children in learning, we create a dynamic environment where they can thrive and enjoy the process of discovering new things. It’s all about making learning a fun and interactive journey!


This post was originally published on March 30, 2023. It was updated on Jan. 3, 2024.