There are many reasons a parent of a child with autism will need and want to teach sequential steps. Even a small child can and will find this useful now and later. Sequential steps are useful in cause and effect, in making choices, and in the give and take of everyday life.
When our children flip on the light switch the light comes on. They very quickly can learn that concept. If I do this, then that happens. This cause and effect is important to teaching our children to use technology such as computers.
It is also important in teaching some children to use a communication device. Essentially some children with Autism learn that if I push this button then this word, phrase, or sentence will come out. They also can learn that if I have a lot of buttons I can ‘say’ a lot of words, phrases, or sentences.
Children using another piece of technology can learn that if I press these buttons this will happen. So if I am using a computer or a label maker, if I press the right sequence of buttons I will get to see a game or label.
This is very soothing to children with Autism and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be use to teach new skills or even to help control behavior. So let’s take the concept into the give and take of everyday life.
Children with Autism can be taught steps. They can be taught a sequence of steps. They can be taught a sequence of steps and that they will get a result. Many social skills start out with a series of steps.
There are steps to saying I am sorry. There are steps to joining into a conversation. There are steps to asking someone to be a friend. There are even more complicated steps to problem solving
Children with Autism can and will learn these steps if parents go about it in a thoughtful way. Parents can buy books breaking down those social skills we seemed to learn automatically. We can also provide a safe place in the family to start practicing those steps. Those sequential steps are really helpful helping a child with Autism make sense of social situations.