Giving Instructions

Set the Scene for Success by:

  • Setting realistic expectations for your child
  • Making sure he’s ready to do the task
  • Giving him as many cues as possible

Give the Instruction:

  • Give your child a warning before the instruction so he is prepared
  • Use your child’s name to get his attention
  • Get down to his eye level
  • State your request clearly: using brief, simple language and be positive
  • Use visual strategies such as gestures, photographs, objects, modelling, and picture symbols to
    help your child understand
  • Say it once, then WAIT

After the Instruction:

  • Allow enough time for your child to process and understand the instruction
  • Be prepared to assist your child with the request if he can’t do it on his own
  • Always use praise and reinforcement when your child follows through

Use Reinforcement:

  • Reinforcement can include: social praise, toys, food, preferred activities
  • Consider what is motivating for your child and use that
  • Move toward more natural forms of reinforcement as your child becomes better at completing
    the instruction

Remember: There’s a difference between reinforcement and bribery:
Reinforcement comes after the task. Bribery is offered before.
Celebrate your child’s successes!

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