Teaching Skills for Children with Autism
Trumpet Behavioral Health offers help with planning skills activities for use by parents, caregivers, grandparents, teachers and paraprofessionals.
We are now offering a monthly sampling of the skills activities that you can use to help you teach your child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Featured Activity: Train Game
Objective: Stays in line with peers while traveling through the school building
Developmental Area: Independence
Category: Physical Play
Curriculum Level: Basic
- Animatedly announce that you are forming a train.
- Pretend to be the train engine. ‘Drive’ up to each child in the classroom/group setting and invite him/her onto the train (e.g., ‘Choo, choo. All aboard, Michael!’). Make sure you have three or more peers in your train line before inviting the child to join.
- Playfully approach the child and tell him/her to get in the train line. If necessary, specify which peer to stand behind or just tell the child to join at the end of the line.
- Wait for the child to get in the train line before you move to the next station. You may need to gently lead the child into place. Praise the child for getting on the train, and then remind the group to stay in line and follow you.
- Playfully wind your train line around the room, occasionally stopping (e.g., to pick up other passengers, at pretend traffic signals). This will get the child used to the stop and go movement of the line.
- This activity is designed to give the child practice with staying in line and following the class. If the child gets out of the line, animatedly call him/her back. For this activity the child just has to rejoin the line and continue to follow the train’s path.
- If the child does not rejoin the line, physically lead him/her back. If necessary, have the child hold onto the person in front of him/her, providing a physical link to the line.
- If the child continues to get out of the line, play the game with a smaller group. Also, teach the child’s peers to reinforce and support the child’s staying in line. When the child returns to the larger line, his/her peers can help remind him/her to stay in line and provide positive social reinforcement for remaining with the group.
- Remember to be animated and engaging. The game should be a fun way to help teach the child how to stay in line and follow the group.
If this is a skills area that you have been wanting to work on with your child, we hope you will benefit from this activity. Watch for more of these activities each month from Trumpet Behavioral Health. And if you have a request for activities for specific skills you’ve been wanting to work on with your child, please let us know via our suggestions form >> click here