Organising and Prioritising

Many of us make lists and use calendars and alarms to organise and prioritise activities and events every day. Individuals with autism often have difficulty with organisation and prioritising (see Executive Function)

Lists, alarms and calendars can also be effective for teenagers with autism and may help support organisation and prioritising work to meet the demands of the curriculum. Many graphic organisers are freely available online for busy teachers. To strive for independence, we need to teach teenagers with autism to construct their own supports so as they transition to adulthood, they will have an array of supportive options.

  1. Technology, iPads, computer software and inconspicuous strategies can all support the student with autism as he or she puts order and predictability into his or her life and school studies. For many, as concrete visual thinkers, teenagers with autism process information well when they can look at a picture or words to help them visualise information. Technology makes visual images more accessible. Many will find it easier to associate words with pictures if they see the printed word and a picture together.
  2. Some students will find that voice output software helps with auditory reinforcement and computer graphics help students visualise what they’re learning.
  3. As some students will have problems remembering sequences to carry out tasks, the use of technology can reduce the need to remember the steps and allow the student the chance to demonstrate his or her ability.
  4. Some teenagers may have difficulty with fine motor skills. Technology helps reduce the frustration involved with hand writing or drawing. Using a keyboard or touch screen reduces difficulty.
  5. Autism may make verbal communication difficult, technology can increase communication by helping someone express themselves more fluently or by helping them learn how to express themselves.
  6. Technology also increases communication by allowing us to communicate using the sensory skills someone with autism prefers (e.g. using symbols and pictures, video email, etc…)

Computer graphics capture and maintain the attention of the student.

Read previous: ← Organisation skills