Before you board a plane, you need to enter the airport with a destination in mind. Parents and teachers can work together to identify the issues that cause the biggest barrier to a child’s progress.
Because autism covers a wide range of function, every child is different, and even the needs within a child can change. Does the child need support with social communication or behavior management? Does he require tools for concentration or ways to reduce repetitive behaviors? Parents and teachers might have different perspectives on the same child, so collaboration can help fast-track that check-in process.
Once you’ve identified the general area of a child’s needs, it’s important to choose more specific and individualized goals. Think of this in terms of narrowing the destination down from a continent to a specific country. While it’s easy to follow the tourist trail and go with the popular tour operators, a more bespoke service is sometimes required. In real terms, this might mean ignoring a lot of the general one-size-fits-all suggestions available online and thinking more about what your child needs.
LoveToKnow outlines the social, occupational, and behavioral areas you might want to target and gives specific examples of the kind of small manageable goals to aim for, such as sustaining activity with a peer or teacher for more than 10 minutes or accepting changes in routine 70 percent of the time. These are the typical tick boxes that clinicians use to assess children’s levels of functioning — targeting these concrete skills can result in tangible outcomes.