Top tips for supporting your child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Spend an hour (with as many of the family as you can) preparing for the upcoming weeks. Use the advice below to help you.

Routines are important

  • Wherever possible, make a clear plan for the day and the week ahead. Revisit the plan at the start of each week.
  • Make this plan visual (eg use a visual timetable).
  • Prepare your child for the routine (eg timings of when things will happen and what will happen next).
  • Have a routine for when things won’t go to routine! (eg create an ‘question mark’ image and explain what we will do when this happens, eg ‘do our nice steady breathing and follow mummy’s instructions’).
  • Follow through with routines (as well as instructions, activities and everything else), wherever possible. Consistency is key.

Make all communication as clear as you can

  • It’s best to reduce the amount of talking you do- if you need to talk, use short sentences which are very clear to understand and contain no more than two steps (‘take off the coat and walk to the kitchen, please’).
  • Use gestures or visual prompts wherever you can, eg pointing out where to get something, or having a picture of what you want your child to do.
  • If your child uses signing (eg Makaton) at school and you use this at home, keep using it wherever possible (watch some Mr Tumble to reinforce this).
  • If your child uses any additional devices to communicate, e.g. PECS, communication boards, a high tech AAC device, ensure that everyone is using them, that they are accessible and in sight, to decrease any frustrations.

Help your child manage the sensory environment

  • Think about which sense/s your child is most affected by (Touch? Smell? Sound? Other?).
  • Does your child seem to be more sensitive to some sensations (and likely to avoid that sensation) or do they seem to seek out stronger sensations than other children?
  • What sensation/s (at home and locally) is likely to ‘trigger’ them?
  • How can you avoid this trigger? Or at least prepare your child for it (eg walking them past that place when it is not ‘overloading’; using a visual prompt card to prepare them for the experience; creating a ‘social story‘)?

Help your child understand what is happening

  • You can use visuals to understand why school is closed. Here’s an example:

  • You can use social stories to understand about the corona virus and what is happening in the world.

Useful links

More information

For further information, please contact us on 020 8809 8809 or complete the form and we will reply to your enquiry.