Going somewhere? Try showing a picture of someone you will see or what the place looks like. If you are participating in a fun activity show a picture or video clip of what you might be doing. This will help ease transitions and give priming for what to expect. YouTube has a vast assortment of experiences and clips--PREVIEWING IS REQUIRED--Ann and I many a time have found weird and inappropriate clips trying to provide video modeling and priming. We view clips before ever showing them to kids. If you are having trouble with a specific time together consider creating a mini-schedule of photos or words to schedule that time more specifically. This could look like a "to-do" list, a first-then box (first homework, then games), or step-by-step "direction guide". It can be hard to remember to carry a camera around to snap these moments. Consider using your phone to take photos or video. It is a quick and portable method to go visual.
Thinking in pictures can be like swimming upstream if you are a kinesthetic (hands on) or auditory learner. If you have to write notes or see things to remember them, you are in luck! Going visual is natural for you. If you have to "do" to learn this might take some work for you, but maybe not. Auditory people are the hardest to sway. You typically can hear your information and roll with it. Therefore, it's natural for you to just speak your directions or information to others. This is the last way kids with autism want their information, so you, my friends have the most work to do (Sorry!). Want to know what kind of learner you are? I am sure there are tests online that you can take, but if you are at Lakewood swing by and see one of us to give you a 2 minute exam. We ask about 3-4 questions and can easily pinpoint what may work best for you. Regardless, you have to work around what may be natural or unnatural to do what is best for the way your child learns. But, you probably knew that already! As always, if you need assistance or ideas for going visual or ways you do that you want to share with us, just let us know!
By: Megan McQuillan