Use visual strategies for autism to “pre-teach” what students need to know

This post shares an example of how to use visual strategies for students with autism.

One of the most important ways we can help students be successful is to think ahead and try to anticipate what they are going to need to do or understand to be able to handle a new activity without difficulty.

Here’s what one mom shared

“I attended your seminar last week.  I found it very helpful. Last night my son had his first Little League game (our city has a league specifically for  kids with special learning needs) and it didn’t take me long to realize that I had NOT done a good job in preparing him.
I went home and went to work on a social story complete with pictures we had just taken at the game.  I remembered you saying visual strategies didn’t have to be complicated — just try one.
This morning at the breakfast table I showed him the story “Tommy Plays Baseball” and he was thrilled.  We talked about every aspect including how to recognize his team members and coaches by the color of their shirt.
He can’t wait to try again on Saturday. The whole thing took a short time and will hopefully make the experience better for everyone.
Thanks for conducting such a practical seminar.  You took something that had seemed daunting in the past and turned it into a reality for our family.” — Patty (Mom)
Mom did a great job
She used this opportunity to give her son some information that will help him participate more successfully.
And one more point
Mom thought of something very important.  She figured out that she needed to teach her son how to identify his teammates.
It’s a perfect example.  Other children may “just know” who their teammates are. This is an example of ASSUMED information. We assume that the kids know that. We don’t think we need to teach it.  But Mom realized that she DID need to teach her son how to figure that out.
So two important things in this example
First, giving kids information is essential.
And second, it’s important to remember that there may be some things that we need to teach our children with autism that we don’t necessarily have to teach our other students. We need to remember not to ASSUME our children with autism understand everything.
P.S.  Do you have any experiences to share where you ASSUMED a student with autism knew something that he or she did not understand?  Please share.


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  1. I would like to teach my daughter not to pick up things which do not belong to her. Plz help LInda. Its a kind of an obsession for her. She understands all that i say and promises not to do it but in a real life situation she picks and gets it home.

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