Skip to main content

Now that many of us are spending a lot more time at home, there may be more time to focus on the routines that happen every day, like toothbrushing, dressing, and bathing. What seems like second nature to some of us is really a complex sequence of individual steps. For individuals with autism, who often have trouble sequencing, these tasks can be a real challenge. When we encounter challenging, multi-step sequencing, having each step defined visually can be a real help!  

Think about when you’re following a new recipe or setting up a new program on your computer- visuals help give you a way to reference back to what it is you need to be doing. We can do this for our learners with autism as well in order to make these tasks easier to understand. Try making a visual, step-by-step sequence breaking down one task (like toothbrushing shown below) or create a visual sequence to help someone remember multiple tasks they need to complete before engaging in free time. 

brush teeth system

laundry how to

Helpful Hints

  • You can use this strategy for fun multi-step activities too, like building a Lego House or doing an art project. 
  • If the individual seems to get stuck on one step of the sequence, you may need to break it down even further: 
    • For example, if they get to “brush teeth” and only brush one tooth, you can break that step down into “brush top teeth, brush bottom teeth, brush side teeth, brush other side teeth.” 

In times of uncertainty, everyone benefits from predictability!