Concepts / categories
Teach concepts using visuals. Temple Grandin refers to her ability to think in pictures. By using pictures to teach a concept, we avoid the need to translate INTO pictures. Do you know the difference between a cat and a dog, visually speaking? If you want to know how Temple Grandin differentiates them, post a message on the Idea Sharing forum above. Children on the autism spectrum can often more easily learn to differentiate when shown several pictures together as a concept, rather than individually.
Things to Bring
Planning and organizing is part of what is called executive functioning, and these skills often need support in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Tools like checklists, which may or may not need pictures, can help. In this example, I've chosen simple pictures from clip art so children don't get too stuck on the details of the pictures. I was even able to remove the colour from the jacket picture. Please send a message through the forum (idea sharing) if you have questions about how to personalise this to meet the needs of your child.
Often, children with learning differences have trouble understanding time concepts. Even if they don't know how to tell time, we can use a visual of a clock to help them understand when transitions will occur. We can put a small clock beside each event in their picture schedule so that when the schedule's clock matches the wall clock, it's time. Another way is during an activity (especially when you have a child asking repeatedly if they are done yet). Simply use this clock (butterfly clip the hands on to the clock, or laminate it and use a dry erase marker or grease pencil to draw the hands on) to illustrate visually when the activity will be over - when the wall clock matches yours, the activity is done. This takes the pressure off of you to tell the child, and he has a visual, so that it's time telling him when it's over, and not you. If you have a child who gets stuck on the exact minute, you can make the hands wider to encompass a range of minutes instead of relying on the exact minute for a schedule change.