Compliance And Cooperation


What can we do to improve compliance and cooperation from a child with ASD?

When we can be more consistent with the words, requests, commands and the expectations we have for our kids with ASD across all environments, it simplifies the processing of the ideas for the child and frees up bandwidth that can now be be applied to other learning.

That means that to best support our children, we need to be in sync with the school, with grandparents or other caregivers, and with therapists, etc. about the concepts we are teaching, and the words we are using to teach them and our expectations of their response. Consistency improves understanding and compliance.

Consistency With Language

“Take a seat.” “Sit Down.” “Find you chair.” “Please be seated.”

All of these phrases mean the same thing, and for those of us who are flexible and whose minds are easily able to globalize concepts, it doesn’t really matter which of these is said to us, we understand. But when you are a child with autism, whose mind is less flexible and whose neurological interconnectivity is much more limited, processing all these different commands complicates life, and slows down response time.

In addition, using language that is clear without idioms, colloquialisms or metaphors will greatly increase the understanding of the child and their ability to comply. It’s more difficult than it sounds to be concrete and consistent in how we communicate, unless we focus on doing it intentionally. (Click here to read more about What Does It Mean When You Say “High Functioning Autism”?)

Consistency With Expectations

One way to do that is create a notebook that travels with the child from one venue to the next as a method of communicating with the adults in other environments what has been happening, what concepts are being taught and what words and phrases the child is responding to. This simple strategy can be used not only to share the language that is being used, but the strategies that are working in different environments. This level of consistency will both help simplify your child’s confusing world and increase the results you are seeing.

Remember, kids with ASD don’t wake up in the morning consciously thinking about how difficult they can be today. Many would willingly comply, but are unable to understand the expectations, how they are communicated, and how they change from situation to situation. (Click here to read more about Autism As A Social Disability.)

Thank you for taking time to understand more, but knowing isn’t enough! Let us help you take the next simple step toward implementing your knowledge for your relief or the relief of others.

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