Strategies for supporting children with autism:

  • develop a system for organizing environments so that they can easily locate items and can focus on the task at hand eg remove unnecessary clutter or visibly distracting objects
  • develop appropriate activities and help the child know what is expected of them
  • provide positive, meaningfulful environments using positive behavioral support for optimal learning that reduces stress, anxiety and frustration
  • organize physical environments so that details in them clarify expectations and decrease the need for reliance on social information for example place a series of pictures in the bathroom of each step when brushing teeth
  • provide a visual sequence for regular routines eg bathing, dressing, brushing teeth
  • establish predictable activity routines with familiar, consistent activities that allow the child to anticipate what comes next and reduce confusion eg regularly read a book before bed
  • simplify language and use visual supports and gestures to argument language
  • SHOW them how rather than tell them how (because they are 90% visual learners and 10% auditory)
  • teach whole sequences rather than individual activities to help them understand the purpose of the task
  • organization instruction using cues, prompts and consequences to encourage them to as independently as possible
  • make sure visual support contain the relevant information, are durable and portable eg print in color, laminate it and stick velcro on the back
  • use visual strategies to support communication, organization and independence skills, as well as increase ability to understand self and manage own behavior eg use labels in the house

Strategies for communicating with children with ASD:

  • match your language to the child's level of understanding
  • get the child's attention before giving instruction / s, try saying their name, getting eye contact or using light touch to gain their attention first
  • state things briefly and simply, the less language you use the better
  • allow the child time to process / think about instructions; providing many instructions together and trying to reason or persuade can overload the child with information
  • use repetition; it may not be necessary to paraphrase an instruction, simply repeating it may be adequate
  • break down instructions for tasks into separate parts or simple steps as it would be difficult to process all the information at once
  • Be concrete and specific with instructions, and clear and explicit about what is expected of the child eg “It is pack up time. Thomas can you pick up the cars from the floor and put it in the bucket.” Just saying “its pack up time” is too vague and so the child would not know how to respond
  • use positive instructions, tell the child what to DO not what not to do; use phrases such as “please do …” rather than “would you like to …?” Egypt “can you …”