Instructional Strategies - Autism
- Repetition of instruction
- Rephrasing questions
- Redirection to activities
- Sensory input
- Picture schedule
- Picture on a videotape to denote where student will be going (preloading)
- Slower paced instruction
- Have test read to student
- Visual or written daily schedules, laminated so students can check off items completed, with mini-schedules for activities within classes or other activities.
- Providing pictures the student can point to when communication is difficult. Although used more often with younger children, some older children may still need help during times of high stress or excitement.
- Posting rules of classroom in a place that is easy to see adding pictures to visually depict rules for younger children.
- Provide visual or verbal cues when transitioning from one activity or class to another. Give student time to recognize and adapt to the transition.
- Offer alternative activities when participating in high-sensory activities.
- Let student use a stress-ball or piece of fabric to rub to help improve focus and reduce anxiety.
- Stress-relief breaks – after identifying the cause of stress in student’s environment, change student’s setting to resolve the cause of stress. i.e. provide time away from the group/class to a safe, private area, or remove the sensory noise, for student to compose himself. When stress level decreases, encourage student to return to group/class setting.
- Incorporating “stress relief breaks” for the entire class helps target this challenge for the ASD student inconspicuously. Consider including stretching, pushing and pulling activities, or games (e.g., moving desks around, carrying heavy books, fidgeting with small toys and balls, or Simon Says).
- Give clear and concise directions and instructions. Autistic students comprehend messages very literally, hence they have difficulty with humor, sarcasm, metaphors and idioms.