Making a Fort | Teaching Skills for Autism

July 16, 2014, TBH Blog
TBH Blog

Looking for help with teaching social skills for children with autism? Need ideas for teaching other important life skills?

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.

This powerful suite of tools offers training, case management with built in assessments to assist in creating positive behavior support plants, skills plans, and to generate progress reports with graphs.

Now, for the first time, we are offering a sampling of the skills activities that you can use to help you teach these important skills to your child with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Insights to Behavior offers over 5,000 activities in the following eight skills areas:

  1. Social Skills
  2. Emotional Skills
  3. Communication Skills
  4. Receptive Language
  5. Expressive Language
  6. Academics
  7. Independence Skills
  8. Motor Skills

Each month, we will feature a Skills-Building Activity for you to try.

This Month’s Featured Activity: Making a Fort

Objective: Plays cooperatively with one partner
Developmental Area: Social

Method: Behavioral
Category: Constructive Play
Curriculum Level: Intermediate
Setting: Peer
Materials: Blanket, cushions or boxes


The child should already be familiar with the activity, having observed and/or played it with assistance or with an adult. The peer will be taught how to interact with the child prior to this activity. If an appropriate peer is not available, use another adult so you can shadow and prompt the child.

  1. Bring the child and peer into an area set up with the materials and cleared of distracting items.
  2. Gain their attention and tell them to play together (e.g., ‘Make a fort together!’).
  3. Provide social praise if the child follows along with the peer and helps build a fort.
  4. If the child does not collaborate, gain his/her attention by tapping him/her on the shoulder and reminding him/her to help.
  5. If the child still does not collaborate with the peer, physically prompt him/her to assist.
  6. Reinforce the child for collaboration at increased intervals of time as he/she becomes more successful.
  7. Fade back prompting until the child independently collaborates with the peer.
  8. Run this activity daily to allow the child multiple trials to collaborate with a peer.

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.

The above recommended activity is not a replacement for behavioral therapy from a qualified Board Certified Behavior Analyst or trained therapist. It is only provided as a recommended activity for you to use in working with your child.
Insights to Behavior Activity – © 2005 – 2014 Trumpet Behavioral Health
All brand or product and their content mentioned in this product are the property, trademark, service mark, or registered trademark of their respective holders.
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