Date
18 September 2019

Support processing and organisation with recommended approaches

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Classroom strategies years 1-8’

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Provide structure for task completion

Provide structure for task completion

Give students with ASD the time they need to succeed.

Consider reducing the quantity rather than the complexity of the learning for students.

  • Provide instruction in short segments (for example, teach → student activity → teach → student activity).
  • Provide students with a checklist with tasks broken into smaller segments. Highlight key parts of the task.
  • Before beginning a task, have students explain their understanding of what they are doing (they can do this with a buddy).
  • Give positive feedback to students who start promptly.
  • Check on student progress frequently.
  • Ensure that all materials and resources are accessible.

Use visual timetables

Use visual timetables

Visual timetables support spoken instructions, provide a reference point for “what next”, and show changes in the routine.

Support self management

Support self management

Create a predictable environment supported with visuals.

Teach and model how to use planning and scheduling tools effectively.

  • Make visual exemplars of a process or how to complete a task.
  • Label key areas of the classroom and resources with visual and text labels.
  • Use charts, visual calendars, colour-coded schedules, visible timers, and visual cues to increase the predictability of regular activities, transitions between environments and activities, and changes in discussion topics.
  • Make graphic organisers and flowcharts available to support breaking tasks into chunks, and thinking and planning in all curriculum areas.

Support concept development

Support concept development

Build new learning on solid foundations. Provide multiple opportunities to revisit a new idea or concept.
  • Check to ensure that students retain and can demonstrate previously-learned skills before beginning new learning.
  • Teach new skills using a variety of methods, materials and contexts and using concrete, practical and visual materials.
  • Reinforce abstract concepts with visual and concrete materials.
  • Make explicit connections between new knowledge and previous experience.
  • Make connections to high interest and practical everyday situations.
  • Offer multi-sensory explanations and demonstrations.
  • Provide extra time and opportunities for additional repetition and reinforcement – where applicable, involve a buddy, parents, or a support teacher.

Support thinking and pattern recognition

Support thinking and pattern recognition

Tools and approaches to help students to recognise patterns, critical features, big ideas and relationships.
  • Use visuals (graphics, photos, cartoons, pictures) to support text and talk when explaining anything.
  • Offer 3D virtual and physical models and real objects to help students identify critical features.
  • Use mind maps, flowcharts, and outlines to help students unpack big ideas and relationships.
  • Give students multiple opportunities to engage with new ideas and concepts.
  • Provide extra time for students to think and process before needing to respond in a discussion.
  • Use mindmaps to brainstorm ideas.
  • Support group and class discussions with visual annotations to prompt later recall of key ideas.
  • Make thinking tools and approaches available across all curriculum areas.

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Helpful classroom strategies years 1-8”:

Return to the guide “ASD and learning”

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