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Going to a Restaurant | Teaching Skills for Autism

Trumpet Behavioral Health offers help with planning skills activities for use by parents, caregivers, grandparents, teachers and paraprofessionals. Trumpet Behavioral Health is the creator of Insights to Behavior, a web-based solution created for schools to help train educators work with children with autism or other disorders that cause challenging behaviors.

We are now offering a monthly sampling of the skills activities that you can use to help you teach your child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

May 14′ Featured Activity: Going to a Restaurantdining family

Objective: Tells you a story or describes a past event
Developmental Area: Communication

Method: Behavioral
Category: Other
Curriculum Level: Advanced
Setting: Adult-Child
Materials: Tangible reinforcers; Piece of blank paper and pencil

  1. Start this activity by having the child write down his/her thoughts about going to a restaurant immediately after he/she returns from the restaurant (e.g. things that were in the restaurant, things he/she ate or drank, people who were there, etc.).
  2. Start by first asking the child about the restaurant the next day after he/she goes to the restaurant. Say to the child, ‘Tell me about the restaurant’ If the child needs to, let him/her refer back to the summary he/she wrote after he/she went to the restaurant.
  3. If the child tells you about the restaurant, give him/her social praise and a tangible reinforcer. If the child does not tell you about the restaurant, refer to the sheet and start asking specific questions about the things he/she wrote on the paper. If the child then talks about the restaurant, give him/her social praise only.
  4. If the child continues to not tell you about the restaurant, start reading what he/she wrote down about the restaurant. Do not give the child social praise or a tangible reinforcer.
  5. When the child can independently tell you a story about the restaurant the day after he/she went, start asking the child about the restaurant days or weeks later using steps 2 – 4. You can still let the child refer back to the sheet he/she wrote.
  6. Continue with step 5 until the child can independently tell you about the trip to the restaurant weeks after the event occurred. Gradually reduce letting the child use the sheet about the restaurant until he/she can recall information about the restaurant independently.

Activity Procedure

If this is a skills area that you have been wanting to work on with your child, we hope you will benefit from this activity. Watch for more of these activities each month from Trumpet Behavioral Health. And if you have a request for activities for specific skills you’ve been wanting to work on with your child, please let us know via our suggestions form >> click here

CLICK HERE to learn more about Insights to Behavior.