5 Tips to help encourage positive behaviours in children with autism

1. Give Clear and Concise Instructions
Ensure the language you are using is appropriate for the chronological and cognitive age of the child. The expectation of the instruction should be attainable and the instruction should only be stated once to avoid future non-compliance when instructions are stated.

2. Follow Through
Once an instruction is given, allow the child to start the task within 3-5 seconds. Once 5 seconds have elapsed, redeliver the instruction with the necessary prompt to complete the task.

3. Visual Schedules
Visual aids provide a picture representation of the events that are to come and in return can lead to a decrease in anxiety and frustration of the child.

4. Rewards/Reinforcement
Reward desired behaviours when seen with social praise and paired with a preferred item for more difficult tasks. Remember to fade rewards when the desired behaviour becomes more fluent.

5. Token Boards
An evidence-based strategy using a visual aid to indicate when regards will be available. Delaying reinforcement is a key component to generalizing wanted behaviours. Tokens indicate to the child the correlation between wanted behaviours and access to wanted item, foods, place etc.