Motivating an ASD student can be at times stressful and difficult. A student with ASD WILL NOT process information in the same manner as a typically developing student, this means that the student with ASD may think, act, re-act and behave very differently to the other students.
A child with autism spectrum WILL almost certainly have deficits in three main areas of development: social, communication (verbal and non-verbal) and imagination. These deficits can make teaching difficult.
There are various supports which CAN be used to HELP a child with autism spectrum cope and better understand skills and situations that they may or are struggling with.
Motivating an ASD student using visual supports like social skills stories, picture communication cards and flash cards is beneficial.
These visual supports for the ASD student can be easily implemented and are readily available from sites like
Typically social skills stories ARE short descriptive pieces of text which look almost like a comic script conversation. The social story WILL answer the “wh” questions – who, what, why, when and where as well as “HOW” and will offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of considerable weakness in most children with autism.
The social story should always be written from the point of view of the ASD student and use first person text, it should always adopt a manner that the child with autism can relate to and better understand.
Generally social skills stories ARE visually rich using images and pictures to help explain to the child with autism spectrum what’s happening and why.
The social story should be editable as no two children with autism will ever be the same and we all use different terminology, therefore editing is often needed.
For more information on social skills stories for students with autism and communication cards please visit:
Typically students on the autism spectrum WILL HAVE social and communication deficits.
These deficits ARE common to autism and affect how the child processes information, thinks, acts, re-acts, interacts, communicates and behaves; this is known as social skills deficits.
No two students on the autism spectrum will ever be the same and thus will display differing social skills deficits.
However although there is no known cure for autism spectrum there are various treatments and supports for autism which can are excellent for helping students with autism learn to overcome their social skills deficits and reach their full potential.
Helping students with autism integrate in to the classroom can be achieved using treatments and supports for autism like picture communication cards, flash cards, PECS, visual social story cards and social skills stories.
All of these can be implemented easily and need no formal training to use. Typically teachers and parents CAN USE supports such as social skills stories and picture communication cards equally as well in the home and the classroom/school.
Social skills stories were developed around twenty years ago to aid communication in children with autism, today they are used for much wider issues and behaviour difficulties.
For example a social story can be used to help with situations like visiting a dentist, what to do at recess, asking questions, joining in play, calming down and so on…
The social story answers the “wh” questions – who, what, why, when and where as well as “HOW” and will offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most autistic individuals.
Social skills stories ARE always written in first person text and from the point of view of the autistic student and WILL be in a manner that the autistic student can understand.
Typically most students with autism WILL be visual learners; which means that teaching styles which allow for this WILL be better understood. For example USE images, pictures, graphs and so on TO SHOW the autistic student what it is you are trying to get across.
Helping students with autism integrate in to the class is no easy task but with forward thinking and the use of visual information such as picture communication cards to highlight areas, tasks, rules and so on and social skills stories to teach social interaction and communication skills your task WILL BE a whole lot easier.
For example: picture communication cards can highlight the coat peg, pencil draw, bathroom, snack time and so on. They are also used as a means of communication – a card can be exchanged for a reward, behaviour etc…
The main characteristics of autism spectrum disorder ARE social awareness deficits, communication difficulties and imagination deficits, as well as some sensory processing issues and obsessive behaviours.
Typically most children on the spectrum ARE visual thinkers and learners, this meas that they think in pictures/images and tend to use speech/language as a secondary tool.
So how CAN this knowledge help us with finding students with ASD social supports?
There ARE a wide variety of supports and tools for autism spectrum disorder, typically the most significant supports and tools for autism WILL be those which ARE visual, for example, PECS, communication picture cards (flash cards), social skills stories and visual social story cards.
For many students with ASD school can be confusing at times and quite chaotic. Typically children on the spectrum like set patterns and routines and WILL dislike any changes to routines or suprises, they WILL PREFER things to remain on an even level.
Therefore most students with autism WILL find particular times of the school day such as recess, break time, PE etc confusing. Using social supports like social stories and communication picture cards CAN help them to cope with and be more setteled during these times of the day.
Social stories ARE short descriptive stories relating to a skill, activity, event, behaviour etc that the child with autism spectrum disorder finds difficult. The social story can act like a visual framework or step by step plan detailing visually what is happening and expected of them.
Social stories and communication picture cards ARE excellent supports and tools for autism to use in and around the classroom and school, they ARE also excellent for at home and ALL other areas the child with autism finds difficult. Using first person text, always from the perspective of the child, the social story uses images/pictures to describe the situtation or skill in a manner the student with autism can better understand.
To learn mre about social stories and picture communication cards visit:
Social skills can be hard to understand for many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with many parents find it difficult to teach every day social and communication skills.
Cosequently, social skills stories have become an excellent tool for teaching many essential and non-essential life-skills. Research suggests that parents feel that teaching a child with autism social and communication skills is a primary focus.
For students with autism “fitting in” to mainstream classrooms can be challenging! An autistic student displaying social skills deficits will probably find it hard in a mainstream classroom unless he/she is taught appropriate social and communication skills. Research suggests that successes in teaching an autistic student social skills can increase self-confidence and understanding as well as boost the autistic student’s attention span and general behaviour within the classroom, which can all help the student with autism reach his or her full potential.
We can conclude from researc and studies into Autism Spectrum Disorder that nurturing social skills in autistic children is beneficial in helping the child to “fit in” socially and reducing anxiety and stress.
Originally social skills stories were developed to help with communication difficulties in children with ASD. However, today they are used more widely as a strategy in teaching autistic children social and communication skills thus addressing their social skills deficits.
A social skills story can act as a role model, showing and the skill or situation being addressed in smaller easier to understand pieces. This is a proven strategy in teaching autistic children. A social story is a short descriptive story describing using images and text a particular social skill being acted out (modelled).
The social skills story shows the skill from the child’s point of view in small easy to follow pieces. Using visual images the social skills story shows a step by step plan answering the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what and HOW) as well as giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others, much like reading a script of the skill, this is allowing the child with autism to rehearse the skill.
A social skills story can also be used to help with transitions, changes to routines and other less common situations. Using the same formula social skills stories will help parents and teachers nurturing social skills in autistic children effectively.
To learn more about how social stories help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to learn social and communication skills visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com
For many students with autism probably the biggest issue both at school and home is a deficit of social and communication skills.
For many teachers teaching social and communication skills to their autistic student can become their primary focus. With successes in teaching social skills comes greater confidence, which in turn leads to positive results in other areas of the classroom for the autistic student.
Research shows that social skills stories increase the autistic students knowledge of social and communication skills, which they struggle with like for example, asking questions, making friends, how to cope with recess, assembly and so on.
The social story provides the student with ASD information, the social cues and the perspective of others this is an area of weakness for the student with ASD.
Developed twenty years ago to aid communication skills, social stories are probable today one of the major tools teaching social and communication skills and behaviours.
Social stories for students with autism should be visual. Most children on the spectrum are visual thinkers and learners meaning they think in pictures, making this strategy beneficial.
By using visual images a social story acts like a role model or visual plan of the situation, skill or activity the student with ASD is struggling with. Answering the ever important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what the social story also provides the “how” and gives an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others all helping to reduce anxieties and confusion.
Printable and editable social stories for students with autism can be downloaded from
As typically developing beings we naturally learn social, communication and imagination skills and behaviours. This ability is missing in autism spectrum disorder and often referred to as the theory of mind or social skills deficits.
Probably the major factor for many parents raising an autistic child is their childâ€™s social skills deficits. This is also true in the classroom with many teachers being insufficiently trained in teaching students with autism.
Teaching social and communication skills can often become a primary concern for many teachers and parents.
Success in addressing social skills deficits by teaching social, communication and imagination skills and behaviours can increase self-confidence and lead to positive results at home and in the classroom for students with autism.
Using social stories for autism is a VERY BENEFICIAL strategy which is used by the vast majority of parents raising an autistic child, care givers and teachers.
The most important aspect of a social skills story is that it provides the child on the autism spectrum with a role model.
The vast majority of children with autism spectrum ARE visual thinkers and learners, which means they think in pictures, therefore strategies which suit children with autism spectrum best ARE visual like social stories.
Social stories can be used for more than learning social, imagination and communication skills, they can be used FOR TRANSITIONS, new routines, changes in routines, activities, and how to respond appropriately to feelings like anger.
Using social stories for autism will help the child on the spectrum to better understand the thoughts, feelings and views of other people.
By implementing social stories for autism the child on the spectrum is more able to predict another person’s behaviour based on their actions.
Social stories present various situations and skills in a structured and clear manner in a way children with autism spectrum will find easier to understand. The social skills story should be written from the child’s perspective and follow a set formula of four sentence type: descriptive, perspective, direction and control.
Using social stories for autism will answer the important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what, helping reduce confusion and anxieties, making unpredictable situations more routine.
By using visual images and first person text the social skills story is much like a comic strip conversation, which children with autism spectrum find easy to use.
Editable, and printable the social skills story will suit all ages and abilities, parents can personalize the social skills story using their child’s name and language that is familiar to them. No two children with autism are ever the same and normally some tweaking of social stories is needed.
Students with autism display difficulties with understanding communication appropriate use of speech.
Teachers in mainstream or special ED classrooms must provide autistic students with information on lessons, events, activities, and rules or expectations in a consistent manner which the autistic students can easily understand.
Generally autistic children are visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures. Therefore visual strategies will work best for teaching students with autism social interaction skills as well as other important classroom skills and behaviours. Visual schedules can used to provide an autistic student with an overview of the day, for example lesson order, when break and recess will happen etc.
Many teachers of students with autism also find mini-schedules helpful. A mini-schedule breaks a certain skill or activity down into smaller components showing the steps a student will need to take to complete the task.
Teachers of students with autism can also use PECS or visual support cards to help support communication. The visual support cards are also used in both the visual schedule as well as the mini-schedule. Visual support cards are generally small laminated picture cards with appropriate text under the picture.
While most students with autism will learn to use speech to communicate, many still have great difficulty in expressing their needs and desires, therefore visual support cards are introduced as a means of communication.
Teachers of students with autism also implement social stories that help with teaching students with autism social interaction skills, classroom rules, about transitions and how to perform skills and activities they struggle with. Â For example recess, many ASD students struggle with recess and the unpredictability of other children running around, noise and general chaos are very stressful and confusing to a child with autism. Using social skills stories can reduce some of the anxieties felt by the child with autism.
The vast majority of students with autism need direct instruction in social and communication skills.
Most ASD students do not learn social interaction skills by simply being placed in social environments and will need direct teaching in the same way they learn other academic skills.
Using social skills stories for students with autism as visual strategies can be beneficial. Social skills stories for students with autism are designed to teach the child with autism how to cope with certain tasks and activities that they do not understand. The social skill story answers the “wh” questions who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into the emotions and thoughts of others, and how to respond in certain social situations.
Social stories should be written in first person text, use visual images, be editable and printable for convenience of use. Social skills stories are used for teaching students with autism social interaction skills such as recess, break times, assembly, shared reading, asking questions, making friends, hygiene as well as other skills like saying thank you and so on.
To find out more about the benefits of using any of these visual strategies visit:
With an increase in children being diagnosed with autism and the number of parents choosing mainstream education for their autistic child increasing teachers are feeling the pressure.
Children with autism have difficulties with social and communication skills this is due to social skills deficits which are a common characteristic of autism. Social skills deficits affect the way the child with autism processes information, thinks, acts and reacts to social situations.
Therefore adapting a mainstream classroom for a child with autism is essential. For children with autism have difficulties within the classroom such as making friends, listening, asking questions, transitions and communicating with their teacher and peers.
A normally developing child will have the ability to read facial and body language and will be able to understand subtle vocal noises or suggestions. The autistic student will lack this ability.
Autism educators should try and remember that the autistic child will have difficulties with things like interactive lessons, pretend play and shared reading.
Autistic students may have trouble following classroom directions and rules. Their lack of social understanding and need for repetition can lead to bullying and social isolation.
Teaching students with autism can be made more difficult because an autistic student will present problems with imagination, which can hamper some teaching strategies.
Their lack of imaginative or creative play will often mean lack of friendships and solitary play at recess. This is not uncommon; however most children with autism prefer to be alone.
Adapting a mainstream classroom for a child with autism can be beneficial for the child as well as their peers. Teaching students with autism within the autism classrooms is not easy a lack of eye contact coupled with social skills deficits can make cause problems.
For many autism educators using autism social stories as a resource for managing and teaching students with autism appropriate social and communication skills has proven successful.
Research suggests social skills stories are a good strategy to introduce. Autistic students show an increase in positive behaviours, social and communication skills when using autism social stories.
Students with autism are generally visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures. Therefore autism social skills stories are excellent visual strategies, using visual images and first person text to explain and re-enforce social and communication skills the ASD student is struggling with. For example asking questions, by introducing a social skills story the ASD student will have a visual role model or framework for this skill helping them feel more comfortable with this skill.
Social skills stories give the student with ASD clear instructions, as wellas answering the important â€œwhâ€ questions â€“ who, where, why, when and what and give an insight into the emotions and thoughts of others, reducing anxieties and confusion.
Download autism social skills stories for the autism classroom from
A social skills story is an intervention strategy used to teach social skills to individuals with autism.
Social skills stories were developed almost twenty years ago by therapist Carol Gray, originally as a means of communication with the autistic students she was working with. Since then social skills stories have grown in popularity and use.
Today social skills stories are probably one of the most significant autism tools used to help individuals with autism cope and learn appropriate social, communication and behaviour skills.
Unlike typically developing children autistic kids do not develop social and communication skills in the typical manner, they prefer routines and need structure, finding changes difficult, stressful and confusing.
Generally autistic kids ARE visual thinkers and learners meaning they think in pictures. Therefore the best learning method for the vast majority of students with autism is visual.
Using visual strategies like social skills stories is a popular answer with many teachers of students with autism.
A social skills story provides concrete information to help improve students’ social skills and appropriate behaviours. Normally social stories will follow a set pattern or formula of specific sentence type.
No two autistic students will ever be the same therefore social stories need to be editable to suit the needs and terminology used by individual autistic students.
A social skills story is an easy and effective way to teach students with autism how to negotiate changes to routines, handle problem situations and surprises. The social skills story will also help with situations such as transition, recess, making friends, asking questions, eating habits and personal hygiene.
Social skills stories for students with autism should be written from the autistic student’s point of view and use visual images to depict the situation or skill the student with ASD is struggling with.
Social stories should answer the important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as give an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others. The social story should break the skill or situation down into small easier to understand sections, the important social cues and use no frill or extra language to complicate or detract from the skill or situation being dealt with in the social story.
Social skills stories for students with autism are visual strategies and should be printable for ease of use and convenience.
This visual strategy should also be easy to personalize and act as a role model or visual framework for the student with ASD.
To learn more about how social skills stories can help your ASD student visit:
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder. The disorder is characterized by a set of symptoms known as the triad of impairments, these are:
Social interactions skills deficits
Communication skills deficits
Imagination skills deficits.
This triad of impairments or social skills deficits as they are more commonly referred to are common to all individuals with ASD (autism spectrum disorder).
Therefore students with autism will almost certainly display social skills deficits.
The autistic student will have social skills impairments which can affect their ability to communicate with and understand others.
The autistic student will lack social interaction and flexibility skills, preferring set patterns and routines, this inability to be flexible can cause stress and anxiety if routines are changed even slightly.
These social skills deficits can make understanding communication and social skills in the classroom and around school difficult for the ASD student.
It is true to say that individuals with ASD cannot easily behave in a typical “more normal” way. An autistic student will not purposefully disrupt the class; all autistic behaviour happens for a reason an external or internal (illness) factor.
It is these external and internal factors that trigger a negative autistic behaviour through sheer frustration with situations and with other people.
Teaching the ASD student is difficult. Strategies can be put in place that can help deal with the affects of the studentâ€™s social skills deficits, which can help the motivation and behaviours displayed by the ASD student.
Strategies used for motivating students with autism can include visual schedules, PECS, flash cards, autism symbols and social skills stories.
For the majority of students with autism a combination of all these autism resources is favourable. However for many students with autism probably one of the most useful autism resources available is social skills stories.
Social stories as strategies used for motivating students with autism are short visual strategies used to show a skill or situation that the student is struggling with. Using visual images and first person text the social story is used like a role model of the skill or situation. Detailing the skill by giving the student with autism the relevant social cues, answering the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) and giving an insight into the emotions, thoughts and nonverbal communication shown or felt by others.
Easy to implement, personalize and with no formal training needed to use social skills stories are used widely in the classroom for dealing with issues such as staying on task, calling out, asking question, recess, P.E. lessons and so on.
A major area of concern for parents with autistic children is getting to grips with their child’s social and communication difficulties. It is a fact that all children with ASD show marked developmental deficits in social and communication skills.
Lacking the ability to understand communication both verbal and nonverbal is difficult. It is a lack of appropriate communication skills that can lead to social mistakes, bullying and inappropriate behaviours.
For many children with ASD routines are important and can be a cause of stress when the routine changes even the slightest change can cause anxieties.
Many schools now recognise the need to teach students with autism expressive communication skills. But fail to help teach those students with autism to understand why we communicate and how communication can help us in our everyday lives.
Research suggests that children with autism spectrum disorder are visual thinkers and learners. This shows us that any information or social cues we wish to share with our autistic child will be better understood when the information is presented visually.
Consequently using visual strategies for improving communication difficulties in children with autism spectrum disorder has proven to be an effective means of helping children with ASD address their communication difficulties.
Visual strategies such as visual timetables, schedules, flash cards, PECS and social skills stories are all visual tools used for increasing communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorders.
Visual tools such as PECS, flash cards and social skills stories are important in helping your autistic child improve positive behaviours and independence, thus helping your autistic child to reach his or her full potential.
Looking at social skills stories as a strategy, introduced twenty years ago social skills stories are one of the major visual tools used today for improving communication difficulties. Difficulties such as asking questions, making friends, having a conversation, sharing, taking turns, saying Hi and so onâ€¦
A social story is a visual plan of a skill or behaviour the child with autism is struggling with. Using visual images and age appropriate first person text the social story breaks the skill or situation into small understandable chunks. And answers the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what), as well giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others, helping the child with autism to feel more comfortable with and in the situation.
To find out more about visual strategies for improving communication difficulties in children with autism by using social skills stories as a strategy visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com
Motivating students with autism spectrum disorder can be challenging. With many teachers finding them selves struggling to keep their autistic students on task and focused, unless the particular lesson being taught is of interest to them.
Teachers also report communication difficulties, as well as difficulties with social, imagination and interaction skills and behaviours can be an issue. These difficulties are common with autism and are due to social skills deficits, which are always present in autism spectrum disorder.
It is due to social skills deficits that many teachers struggle motivating students with autism spectrum disorder. However there are autism tools available which can be implemented to help teachers overcome the social skills deficits displayed by autistic students.
One of the major autism tools used with great effect are visual strategies such as visual timetables, visual support cards and social skills stories all of which can be implemented easily and used for autistic students.
Motivating students with autism using visual strategies is proven effective, generally students with autism spectrum disorder are visual thinkers and learners meaning they respond and understand information when it is presented visually rather than by text or auditory.
Students with autism spectrum disorder will not like routine changes and can become stressed and anxious quickly, by using social skills stories this can be addressed effectively.
Social skills stories are also used to address social skills deficits and teach positive behaviours. A social skills story for students with autism will help the student understand and feel more comfortable with situations or skills they struggle with like for example staying on task, asking questions, following rules, recess and so on.
Normally written by experts, social skills stories follow a set formula, always use first person language and visual images, much like a comic strip conversation. Helping the autistic student to feel more comfortable with and in the situation by answering the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) as well as giving the autistic student an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others.
It would not be fair to assume how an individual child will develop and grow. Â It is a fact that all children will grow irrespective of their personal circumstance or educational ability.
Therefore the prognosis for autism remains the same, research suggests around 1 in every 300 children will receive a diagnosis of autism with approximately 30% of these children that receive a diagnosis of autism will be classified as high functioning or asperger children.
No matter what the prognosis of autism is diagnosed for your child all children with autism will display social skills deficits, the severity will depend largely on the individual child.
Children with autism spectrum disorder have a normal life expectancy and in a lot of cases will lead a relatively normal life, once their social skills deficits are addressed sufficiently.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a life long condition and a diagnosis of autism will not be cured or outgrown.
For many children with autism spectrum disorder a lack of social skills can be challenging and cause great anxieties, especially for those children opting for mainstream education. A typically developing child may not truly understand autism and what the condition is all about; therefore this can lead to bullying in some cases.
It is a good idea if you are opting to place your autistic child in mainstream education that you make certain the appropriate autism classroom accommodations are set up and that teachers and pupils understand autism and what the condition is all about, this will reduce anxieties and stress for not only the teacher, you and your child.
Teachers can use autism classroom accommodations such as visual support cards, visual schedules for autism, social stories and other autism treatments to ensure a positive learning environment for the autistic student.
The prognosis of autism in the classroom is very good with high functioning autistic students generally having average or above average intelligence. However it is fair to say that the concentration span of the autistic student may be somewhat shorter that a typically developing student.
There are methods that teachers can introduce that will help the autistic student concentrate better and understand school rules. Probably the most significant autism tools for this are social skills stories for students with autism. These are designed to help the student with autism understand what is expected of them in school and lessons as well as what they may expect from the teacher and other pupils.
Normally social skills stories for students with autism are written by experts and will follow a pre-set formula which was first used almost twenty years ago. Since then social skills stories have become one of the most significant autism tools available and are used with great effect in the classroom and home of the autistic child.
A social story is a short visual script much like a comic strip, that details a skill, situation or behaviour that the autistic child is struggling with for example, recess or assembly the social story will break the situation down into understandable chunks and use appropriate first person text and visual images to explain and answer the â€œwhâ€ questions (who, where, why, when and what) helping the child with autism grasp what is happening, what is expected of them, suggest possible outcomes and allow the child to feel more comfortable with and in the situation.
Over recent years there has been a marked increase in special needs children being educated in mainstream schools. This increase means teachers are faced with new challenges to meet the needs of the special needs children in their classrooms. For many teachers the needs of special needs students can be quite challenging and up to 75% of mainstream teachers lack appropriate training and many lack constructive support.
The internet has become a good place for teachers to find alternative strategies that can help serve a diverse range of individual needs within a regular classroom environment. Such strategies are especially necessary in dealing with children with autism.
Some children with autism are high functioning and will have average or above intelligence. However those children with low functioning autism may also have other learning difficulties.
Generally special needs students with autism will struggle to express their needs, or when they do not understand something. For many special needs students with autism asking questions and understanding school rules can be frustrating and difficult, this may cause some students with autism to become anxious and stressed. This lack of understanding is due to the student’s social skills deficits, this is common to autism.
Teachers can help special needs students with autism address their social skills deficits and help them cope better within the classroom and school through the use of visual support cues for special needs students.
For example, placing a visual support cue over the bathroom with the word written out clearly and a picture of a toilet will help the special needs student quickly identify the bathroom without feeling anxious.
Teachers are also finding benefits in using visual support cues such as social stories to help the student with autism understand and deal with situations and skills or behaviours that they may be struggling with, such as recess, assembly and joining in with classroom activities etc.
Social stories can be used a visual tool in the classroom for almost every situation the special needs student is finding difficult, teachers can use the internet to download social stories for students with autism
A social story is a simple short descriptive story that uses visual images and short pieces of text. The social story breaks the situation or skill being dealt with down into relevant cues and explains the “wh” questions (who, where, when, why ans what) as well as giving the autistic student an insight into the thoughts and emotions of others and what others may expect of them.
So for example if an autistic student is struggling with school assembly a social story would be implemented that helps the autistic student understand when assembly will take place, who will attend and why, as well as what they should expect will happen and how they will be expected to act during assembly.
The social story will take away any anxious feelings that the student with autism may have surrounding assembly.
Generally children with autism are visual thinkers; which means they think in pictures. Therefore, the most successful ways to help children with autism learn and understand the information they are given is through visual supports and aids.
Many teachers and parents of children with ASD report negative behaviours and frustrations felt and displayed by children with autism when information is difficult to understand, such as written or oral instruction etc, rather than visual.
For many children with autism spoken words are not easy to comprehend, much like listening to a foreign language, which can be frustrating and stressful this can lead to meltdowns and the child generally just “switching off”
Consequently, it has been found that when attempting to teach or convey information to a child with ASD, using visual supports for children with autism is beneficial. Avoiding long spoken sentences or pieces of text with no illustration is advisable for most children with ASD.
Visual supports for children with autism are generally used to help support oral commands and information, for example visual support cards can be used to help show a child with autism the toilet, coat peg, library and so on..
The most significant visual supports for children with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions are visual support cards or (PECS) as well as other support aids such as social stories.
By using visual support cards it allows the child with ASD to focus on the message being taught or the information being presented.
In the classroom teachers of students with autism use visual supports cards to help the student with ASD organize their day for example on a visual timetable. The student with ASD will like repetition and sameness, a visual timetable can help achieve this, the student can easily identify what lesson is coming up next, what they need to do, where they need to be etc.
Also in the classroom teachers of students with autism use visual supports cards to show direction and information. For example many teachers of students with autism place visual support aids on the pencil draw, the bathroom, sink and so on to help the student with ASD identify easily where things are, this can save a lot of confusion and stress not only for the teacher but also the student themselves.
In the home parents of children with ASD and related conditions use visual supports aids around the home again on a visual timetable, helping the child identify mealtimes, bath time, time for school and so on.
In the home parents of children with ASD and related conditions use visual aids to help the child identify certain areas, things, objects etc, for example the toilet, sink, where the cups are stored and so on.
Visual supports for children with autism spectrum disorder are also used to help the child with ASD learn social and communication skills, for example brushing your teeth, hair and so on. Used as a strategy visual supports can be used with social stories affectively to teach skills, communication and behaviours. Many parents of ASD children find used as a strategy visual supports and social stories are beneficial and both are recommended to help all children with ASD learn appropriate social and communication skills and behaviours.
To learn more and see examples of visual supports for children with ASD and related conditions visit:
For many children with ASD being in mainstream education can prove challenging. Difficulties with social and communication skills are generally one of the major issue; for example listening and communicating with the teacher, making friends, staying on task and following school rules can all prove stressful for the student with ASD.
For a typically developing student the ability to communicate and “fit in” socially come naturally. These skills need direct teaching when your child or student is autistic. An otherwise typical situation or activity can be challenging for the student with ASD this is mainly due to social skills deficits which are always present in autism, many students with ASD may also have sensory processing issues this is also common in autism.
Generally a major stumbling block for many students with ASD will be interactive lessons such as P.E.
Many autistic students may have trouble following classroom directions and rules. Plus a lack of social understanding and communication, which is caused through social skills deficits, can lead to bullying and social isolation for many autistic students.
Recent studies show teachers find that teaching strategies need changing so that can effectively teach students with autism. Changes in teaching methods to help with issues such as imagination deficits, concentration, and changes to routines or lessons that help students with autism feel more comfortable in the class.
Children with ASD within mainstream classroom prefer routines and sameness. For many teachers of students with autism using strategies such as social skills stories helps the student settle within the class, understand, stay on track and can reduce negative behaviours and melt downs.
Research also shows us teachers of students with autism have made significant improvements for most children with ASD within mainstream classroom after autism social skills stories were implemented.
Autism social skills stories are used as a resource for all situations within the school that the autistic student is struggling to understand and deal with.
Significantly, autism social skills stories for students with autism give the student clear instructions on how, to deal and cope within the class and school. Which will help the student with ASD understand, stay on task and be more comfortable learning and managing their behavior and social skills, such as making friends, asking questions, assembly and so on?
Download autism social skills stories for students with autism from
With an ever increasing umber of special needs students joining mainstream classrooms, teachers face the challenges of meeting their needs whilst creating an inclusive and challenging learning environment for all students.
Teachers are able to use several alternative strategies that can help them deal affectively with those children with ASD.
After first establishing the student’s capabilities both verbally and intellectually a teacher can assess which strategies will best suit the student with ASD.
Some special needs students with autism are high functioning and able to use language and cognitive abilities to express what they are thinking.
However some special needs students with autism may be non-verbal; in these cases children can communicate with visual supports aids for autism (PECS -Picture Exchange Communication System). These visual aids for autism have wide uses within the autism classroom.
For many students with autism trying to communicate and be understood is difficult, they may lack the ability to effectively communicate, which is a common problem in autism.For example children with ASD can have difficulties asking questions, taking turns, sharing even forming friendships this can be frustrating and stressful, causing some special needs students with autism to become agitated.
Teachers are able to help by providing an organized classroom with specific areas that the student with autism may locate easily through the use of visual support aids for autism like verbal or visual clues for the autism classroom. For example visual supports cards can be placed in special areas such as the bathroom, coat pegs, pencil tray and so on, for easy identification taking away stresses.
The images used in visual supports cards are easily identifiable to all special needs students and can be used not only as visual supports cards placed around the autism classroom but also on visual schedules, now and next boards and as cues for social stories.
Teachers also find the use of social skills stories for students with autism beneficial and are now one of the major strategies used by teachers for helping studentâ€™s better cope within the autism classroom.
Social skills stories for students with autism are visually rich showing the student the how, why, where and when of the skill or behaviour that they are being used to teach or re-enforce. First developed almost twenty years ago to teach social and communication skills, social skills stories are used effectively by both parents and teachers to help children with ASD understand and cope with all skills and situations they struggle to understand and deal with.
Mainstream education is seeing an increase in ASD students as more parents are now opting for mainstream schools. Teachers are now being faced with the challenge of meeting their needs as well as the needs of all students within their classroom.
For many teachers inadequate provisions and support can cause difficulties. However with the increase in visual support tools for ASD now being available on line these difficulties thankfully are becoming far less frequent.
For many teachers autism in the classroom is now not the issue, with support and tools such as visual schedules, social skills stories and visual support cards for ASD, teachers are now adequately prepared for the ASD student.
All relative autism and classroom accommodations need to be put in place before the ASD student starts school. The first of these autism and classroom accommodations to be addressed is the parent-teacher relationship this is key. A meeting with the child’s parents should be held prior to the start of the school year.
Parents can help identify the pragmatic skills in the autistic child, learning patterns, current cognitive skills, and the behavioral techniques that are used with the child.
All autism classroom accommodations should be noted and all the appropriate adults in the child’s care team should be involved.
Generally students with autism are visual learners and will have social skills deficits making expressing themselves difficult.
Consequently autism in the classroom can be helped by using visual support cards for ASD around the classroom, for example above the bathroom a picture of a toilet, sink with the written word on show also. Using visual support tools for ASD can help the student with autism quickly identify certain areas, without feeling frustrated.
Therefore appropriate visual support cards for ASD should be used all around the classroom to help identify areas such as where coats and lunches are stored, pencils are sharpened, and books are put on the shelf.
Other visual support tools for ASD that should be introduced into the student’s class and day are autism social stories.
Autism social stories are excellent visual support tools for ASD that can be used in school and at home making them flexible, designed as a tool for helping parents and teachers of children with ASD and related conditions understand and cope with challenging and often frustrating behaviors.
Social stories were first introduced around twenty years ago for children with ASD and other related conditions to help them learn social and communication skills.
The decision to choose mainstream education for your autistic child is not going to be easy. Generally speaking mainstream teaching methods can sometimes cause confusion to autistic students that tend to be visual learners. Therefore teaching autistic children in mainstream schools can be challenging if certain conditions are not met. Most mainstream teaching methods include visual, kinesthetic and using auditory learning.
However auditory and kinesthetic teaching may not suit an autistic student, this should be taken into account by autistic educators when preparing lessons, and even before the autistic student begins school.
For example when teaching autistic children in mainstream schools autistic educators should remember that teaching students with autism can be helped by remembering autistic children will respond better to lessons that are taught visually.
So by addingpictures, images and visual cues or prompts to lessons especially those lessons that involve class teaching will improve the chances of the autistic student understanding and staying focused.
Most autistic children in mainstream education will have the ability to cope with the education aspect of a mainstream school but will probably struggle to understand and cope with the social, communication, imagination and interaction skills their typically developing peers have.
Generally all autistic youngsters have social skills deficits and will lack the same social and communication abilities of their normally developing peers display, this lack of social understanding can lead to social isolation and at times even bullying.
Therefore when making preparations for teaching students with autism autistic educators should try and remember their autistic student will undoubtedly have social skills deficits and in some cases they may wish to prepare the other students in the class by explaining that the new student is autistic and how this may affect their behavior.
Autistic educators may also want to make some appropriate changes or modifications to the classroom and add some visual prompts or cues to areas such as the bathroom, sink, where the coats hang, the pencil draw etc. This may help to relieve any anxieties the student with autism may feel.
Another good idea would be the introduction of autism visual aids for the autistic youngster like visual schedules and social skills stories.
Both the visual schedule and social skills stories are designed to help the autistic student cope and manage as well as find repetition, instruction, and structure all things the student with autism will need to be able to learn effectively.
The autismsocial stories will act as a step by step visual plan, guide, friend, instruction and coping method. Evidence proves autism visual aids like autism social stories are well placed in the autism classroom and can provide clarity to those situations like recess, break time, dinner time and lessons that the student with autism may struggle to understand and cope with.
To download autism socialstories that will help in teaching students with autism autistic educators and parents have approved and are using with great success visit:
Chances are a child with autism in mainstream education will not require special education, which means they are unlikely to have obvious learning disabilities. But that said they will still have special needs.
The first thing as a teacher you should do is to speak to other members of staff including SENCO in your school. Make sure that everyone understands what autism is and that they are aware of how this will affect the child’s behavior. You should also make the other children in the class aware of their new class mate’s condition and explain that this may affect how the new member of class will act.
Probably one of the most significant issues you will need to address is to prepare all autism classroom accommodations before the child with autism begins school.
Generally a good start with addressing autism classroom accommodations is to prepare the class for the new student by adding visual prompts or cues, to areas of the classroom for example the coat pegs, toilet, art area etc.Ask the parents for a meeting and try to identify the autistic child’s strengths and weaknesses. You can build on the strengths and encourage these.
For many children with autism will prefer their own company, however older children and teens may feel left out or lonely. Sometimes it can be helpful to structure break times to avoid any problems. Sometimes it may be necessary to appoint a buddy system for the student with autism to help them cope with break times and recess.
Many parents will already be using visual aids for autism with their child before they begin school it is a good idea to carry on with these within the classroom also. Generally most children with autism will be visual learners and will respond well to visual aids for autism, such as visual timetables, PECS and social stories. These will all help avoid many of the problems in the classroom for autistic children.
Try using visual aids for autism when teaching a subject that requires abstract thinking. You could maybe use photographs or pictures to help keep the autistic child’s attention. Even at secondary school, it is still possible to use visual aids for example illustrations or diagrams could be added to worksheets.
Visual timetables are used to help overcome problems in the classroom for autistic children with routine and any change to the routine. The autistic child can quickly recognize what is happening as has a visual cue for the various different times of the day, like break times, recess, P.E lessons, home time etc.
You may want to include time for the bathroom as this is a confusing time for most children with autism.
Many teachers find using autism social stories a significant advantage, as a tool for helping the autistic child keep on task and understand what is expected of them throughout the day and what they should expect from other’s.
Autism social stories are used with great affect in classrooms for all times of the day and all activities they are also invaluable for explaining classroom rules, personal space, assembly, recess and so on which are all areas many students with autism struggle to understand and cope with.
Developed to help teach social and communication skills to children with autism social stories are written in first person tense with visual images setting out a step by step visual plan that the autistic child can relate to and follow. By simply showing the autistic child the what, where, when and how for all areas and skills that they may struggle with. They are also used effectively for changes to routines, sport’s day and so on showing the autistic child what they can expect, and what others will expect from them.
Reports suggest autism social stories should be included in all autism classroom accommodations, experts agree students with autismDO benefit from the use of autism social stories within their daily routines and at home.
To download social stories for students with autism visit: