Autism College – Educational Planning For A Student With Autism

NAPSEA National Association for Professional Special Education Advocates

Autism College – Educational Planning For A Student With Autism

Autism College

For an individual who thrives on form and routine, our world is a scary place! Humans interact at record breaking speeds; all of it we do is high speed, second and presistently changing. Even our places and classrooms are likely to be quickly moving everyone on one activity to the next, changing schedules and living in the moment. It is a sign of our times and right or wrong, it is how it is. As non – autistic buyers we need our Blackberrys, our calendars, and our day planners to carry on organized. Many of us could more than likely benefit from having a individualized secretary! Individuals among autism need a way to cope provided the demands of a speedily paced society. Autism College

Schedules, lists, checklists and agendas are visual ways of organizing the world. Visual supports are the cornerstone of independence for an individual with autism. They tell an individual what needs to be done, when and what is coming next. Visuals provide order to a disorderly environment without the need for continual directions. It is not wise to fade out visual schedules because these are the tools that an individual will use for the rest of his/her life in order to be more independent. Students can be taught how to make and use daily visuals in order to bring order to their day and reduce anxiety.


Visuals can vary from written words to pictures, photos, objects and product samples to a combination of supports. The following are a sample of some useful visual supports:

A daily schedule that lists events/things to do/activities/changes in schedule Autism College

A key ring with visual reminders of social rules (personal space, staring, waiting in line etc…)

Checklists of tasks to complete and a place to indicate when are tasks completed

Checklists outlining the sequence of steps to complete a task (washing dishes, laundry, bathing, using appliances etc…)

Checklists of materials needed (packing a swim bag, packing a lunch, packing homework or materials for a class)

A pocket size relaxation booklet

Labels to indicate location and sequence (drawers for clothing, hygiene materials, cupboards etc…)

Graphic organizers or templates that outline what information is needed and where it should be recorded

Semantic maps (these “thoughts webs” help students gather information and see the relationships
between parts that otherwise may seem unrelated because of the learning style of students with autism) Autism College

Cue cards (Reminders about how to solve a problem, recall a rule, make a transition etc…) Don’t let your love ones suffer anymore! Lead them out through Autism College program now!

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