Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What Do I Do Now?

Learning to use their individual daily schedules independently enables students to get to the location where an event will occur.  Now the dilemma becomes for them to know what to do once they are in that location. 

Over the years of working with folks of all ages and all abilities on the autism spectrum, staff at TEACCH determined that 4 questions needed answers when students came to the locales depicted on their schedules and had specific tasks to do once there. 

They needed to know

·         What work?
·         How much work?
·         When will I finish?
·         What will happen next? 

Additionally, these questions needed to be answered in a visual way instead of verbally. The Indiana Resource Center for Autism has a great article on work systems

At Independent Work Area

See how for a beginning student, the objects tell the answers. 

Q: What work and how much?                Q: When will I finish?

A: I see it from left to right.                   A: After I put all work in the“Finish Box”.

Q: What will happen next?  
       A:  I get a favorite toy and get to play with it.   

At Independent Work Area
See how we incorporated food vocabulary pictures based on the classroom theme.

Q: What work and how much?       A:  I see 4 food cards that I will match to the bins.              
Q: When will I finish?                        A:  When all food cards are off the strip and attached to bins. 
Q:  What will happen next?             A:  I get to go to the play area and choose my toys.    

At Golf Course Job Site

This to-do-list incorporates photos of the task to be completed.

Q: What work and how much?                  A:  I see it on the top to bottom written-plus-picture list.
Q: When will I finish?                                             A: When each job is crossed out with a black line. 
Q:  What will happen next?                         A:  I take a break at the snack bar and have a drink. 

This module from the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders is an excellent resource for developing appropriate activity systems.

For more information and creative ideas regarding the development of these and other organizational strategies please visit  Here you will find products useful in developing individualized opportunities to enhance student achievement for students who are pre-school age through adulthood.

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