It is important to implement strategies that address the needs of the individual. We recommend that you apply these strategies across home, school, and community contexts.
Go to the Site Map for a full list of resources and activities!
- Develop schedules to help plan and organize activities that involve several steps, such as getting ready for school, which can also help shift attention to the next activity.
- Post reminder strips of steps involved in everyday tasks.
- Use picture cards as reminders.
- Teach reading and search order to help with math and reading skills.
- Allow practice and repeat actions to reinforce learning.
- Use the student’s preferences and interests to build lessons (get input from parents).
- Allow student time to complete tasks and practice skills at own pace.
- Acknowledge level of achievement by being specific.
- Be specific when giving praise and feedback.
- Break down tasks into smaller steps.
- Demonstrate steps, and then have student repeat the steps, one at a time.
- Be as concrete as possible.
- Demonstrate what you mean rather than giving directions verbally.
- Show a picture when presenting new information verbally.
- Provide hands-on materials and experiences.
- Share information about how things work.
- Pair student with a buddy who can assist with keeping the student on track.
- Be consistent with classroom routines.
- Set a routine so student knows what to expect.
- Provide a visual schedule of activities that can be understood by the student (using photos, icons).
- Use a visual timer so student knows when an activity will be over and they can transition to the next task.
- Use age appropriate materials.
- Use short and simple sentences to ensure understanding.
- Repeat instructions or directions frequently.
- Ask student if further clarification is necessary.
- Keep distractions and transitions to a minimum.
- Teach specific skills whenever necessary.
- Provide an encouraging and supportive learning environment.
- Do not overwhelm a student with multiple or complex instructions.
- Speak more slowly and leave pauses for student to process your words.
- Speak directly to the student.
- Speak in clear short sentences.
- Ask one question at a time and provide adequate time for student to reply.
- Plan physical activities for times when the student has the most energy.
- Provide simple, fun obstacle courses that the student is capable of completing.
- Provide daily opportunities and activities for children to use handheld tools and objects.
- Use songs with finger plays to develop fine motor skills.
- Use materials such as a non-slip mat under drawing paper, thick crayons, and thick handled paint brushes that are easy to grasp.
- Incorporate singing and dancing into many activities.
- Place objects in student’s hand to hold and feel.
- Give student blocks, clay, paper, pencils, crayons, safety scissors, play dough, and manipulatives.
- Plan daily physical activities, and take students outside to run, climb and jump around.
- Have student practice buttoning and unbuttoning, zippering clothes or opening and closing a door.
- Use activities that involve cutting, pasting, drawing and writing.
- Model and use activities with drawing and writing tools.
- Communicate with parents/caregivers about medications and side effects.
- Have a schedule for active and quiet times.
- Model and talk about healthy eating habits with students.
- Provide nutritious snacks and meals.
- Make parents aware of health concerns that could affect a child’s development (e.g. changes in diet, hearing, vision).
- Provide parents with information about health, medical, and dental resources.
|Visual / Spatial Skills
- Use visual discrimination games such as matching and “I spy.”
- Play card games.
- Use puzzles, mazes, and patterning activities.
- Provide opportunities for copying (pictures and words).
- Use matching activities (letters, and shapes).
- Have student use grid or graph paper to align numbers and letters.
- Deliver information in both visual and oral formats.
- Use large clear pictures to reinforce what you are saying.
- Speak slowly and deliberately.
- Paraphrase back what the student has said.
- Clarify types of communication methods the student may use.
- Label areas in the room with words and pictures.
- Use sequencing cards to teach order of events.
- Develop a procedure for the student to ask for help.
- Speak directly to the student.
- Have easy and good interactive communication in classroom.
- Be aware that the student may require another form of communication.
- Encourage participation in classroom activities and discussions.
- Model acceptance and understanding in classroom.
- Provide assistance and provide positive reinforcement when the student shows the ability to do something unaided.
- Use gestures that support understanding.
- Model correct speech patterns and avoid correcting speech difficulties.
- Be patient when student is speaking, since rushing may result in frustration.
- Focus on interactive communication.
- Use active listening.
Behavior management techniques can be used in the home, school, and community settings. Functional Behavior Assessments/Behavior Intervention Plans can be created by examining a student's specific problem behavior, identifying antecedents, understanding consequences that maintain the behavior, and developing strategies to reduce the inappropriate behavior and increase desirable behavior.
- Structure the environment to be predictable, with minimal distractions.
- Prepare student for changes in routine.
- Provide interaction with non-disabled peers as role models for social, communication, and behavior skills.
- Develop a behavior management system that provides structure and consistency.
- Value and acknowledge the student’s efforts.
- Provide opportunities for students to interact directly with each other.
- Teach student to express his / her feelings in age-appropriate ways.
- Ask student to imagine how their behavior might affect others.
- Have students make a “friend book” with students from the class.
- Comment on or describe what the student is doing (be specific).
- When dealing with conflict, explain what happened in as few words as possible and use a calm, not-angry voice.
- Point out consequences of the student’s behavior.
- Brainstorm better choice(s) with the student.
- Use language to describe feelings and experiences.
- Put student’s feelings into words.
- Read books about feelings.
- Explain your reasons for limits and rules in language that the student can understand.
- Model the benefits involved in cooperating.
- Use natural consequences when possible to reinforce cause and effect involved in a rule, request, or limit.