It can sometimes be easy to overlook that not every child knows what to do with certain objects.
Children with autism find generalising learning difficult and therefore if they learn how to do something in one context, this does not necessarily mean they will know how to or have the desire to do it in a different context. For example, a child may learn to place blocks on top of each other with their Dad at home but will not necessarily know how to build in a different context, for example with Lego at school.
For this reason, it is important to ensure that children know what to do with objects before expecting them to use them in the way intended.
It is important to remember to:
- Always model first (e.g. show the child how to do it e.g. cutting out a desired shape with scissors in front of them so they can see)
- Use visuals to break down the steps in the activity and make this clear (e.g. visual instructions of what to do with the Duplo blocks)
- Use visuals to show the desired result of the objects
Remember, make it clear to the child what it is you are expecting them to do.