Enfield Advisory Service for Autism

Enfield Advisory Service for Autism

Life at Enfield Advisory Service for Autism Life at Enfield Advisory Service for Autism Life at Enfield Advisory Service for Autism Life at Enfield Advisory Service for Autism Life at Enfield Advisory Service for Autism Life at Enfield Advisory Service for Autism Life at Enfield Advisory Service for Autism Life at Enfield Advisory Service for Autism Life at Enfield Advisory Service for Autism Life at Enfield Advisory Service for Autism Life at Enfield Advisory Service for Autism

Strategies for giving instructions to verbal pupils with autism: 

  • Always say the pupil’s name first.

 

  • Try to avoid using complex language and metaphors (unless they are being specifically taught) when giving instructions or asking questions (people with autism will respond literally).

 

  • Aim to ensure that instructions are phrased unambiguously and that they tell the pupil what they need to do, rather than what they shouldn’t.

 

  • Check their understanding of instructions, by asking them to say what they need to do (rather than by asking “do you know what to do?”).

 

  • Allow additional silent processing time before repeating instructions or questions and avoid being drawn into any discussions about what is being asked.

 

  • Present instructions as being foregone conclusions whilst incorporating a limited adult directed choice to encourage compliance. (E.g. instead of telling him that he can’t work in a particular group, give him a choice of two other groups to work in).

 

  • Make it clear to them when they are doing the right thing (and why). Pupils with autism are highly reliant on adult feedback to help them to learn appropriate behaviour patterns.

 

  • When an adult needs to direct a pupil , they may be more likely to respond appropriately to the following phrase: “Name: you need to…,” rather than by being told “I want you to…” or “would you like to...”, or being told what they are doing is wrong.

 

  • When an adult needs to direct a pupil , they may be more likely to respond appropriately to the following phrase: “Name: you need to…,” rather than by being told “I want you to…” or “would you like to...”, or being told what they are doing is wrong.

 

  • Saying “Name:  what do you need to do,” when they are not responding appropriately may help them to learn to modify their behaviour themselves.

 

  • Instructions should also be framed in a way which tells pupils  what they need to do rather than what not to do (e.g. Rather than saying “don’t throw that,” say “Name:  put the object down on the table,” or instead of saying “don’t run away,” say “ you need to stay here/sit back in your chair.”)

 

  • When directing pupils try to use minimal precise language which tells them what they need to do, one step at a time in a quiet voice (e.g. “waiting,” “walking,” “looking,” “sitting”). This will help to reduce the amount of language and auditory input that they need to process, particularly when feeling anxious, whilst minimising the opportunity for the pupil to challenge the instruction. Also constant and prolonged auditory input can cause anxiety, confusion and be overwhelming for people with autism as they have a language.

 

  • Similarly try to supplement or replace verbal prompting with gestural or visual prompts prompting as this will help the pupil to become less dependent on being told what to do.