Activities to help children with autism develop skills and understanding.

Activity Terminology

This list was compiled to explain and clarify the terminology and the methods used in our activities.

1. Autism Learn Activities: back to top

 These activities are designed to assist a person to develop multiple skills and apply them in  functional ways to complete an activity. Each activity is organized and visually structured for clarity. Activities with different levels and/or order cards are designed in a hierarchy. 

It is an honor to have used TEACCH Methodology as the basis for the visual structure in our activities. 

2. Wood jig: back to top

Dictionary definition: In woodworking manufacturing - a device for holding a piece of work. Our wood jigs do just that - they hold the activity pieces. 


3. Laminated Jig: back to top

 A main laminated activity piece that is used to do activity work on. It can be a numbered jig used for counting, a placement jig to put items on, a picture jig to velcro laminated items onto, etc. 

4. Color prompting cards: back to top

 When doing an activity, it may be difficult for some persons to track a color from one area to another, even if the area’s distance is fairly short - so there was a need to develop ‘color prompting cards are provided in many activities where needed. These cards assist a person to track  color from one area to another, and are provided in activities where they may be needed.

Tracking a color: This is done by first visually specifying a color the person needs to look at and track / next, showing the person a same color prompting card and having them follow the card from one color area to another to locate the matching color, color area, or color item.

5. Visual guide: back to top

A visual guide is a concrete way to provide visual clarity. It visually guides a person to help find the correct answer. Visual guides are provided in many of our activities to assist a person to complete an activity with success as independently as possible.

Example: A visual guide may be needed to assist with coin identification. If a  person needs to identify different coins, a visual guide that has a picture of the different coins, the coin’s word (penny, nickel etc.), and the cent amount for each coin is provided. If using a money category,  a visual guide can be used as a visual reference to find the correct coin, cent amount, or cent amount identification.  As a person gains confidence and skills, it is suggested to slowly fade use of the visual guide.

6. Visual setup guide: back to top

Each activity is visually structured to be completed in a specific left to right format.

This provides a person with structure and visual organization - TEACCH Methodology.

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, we decided that a numbered, visual setup guide for the activity pieces should be provided in the instructions.

How it works: Each activity piece is numbered on the bottom. Following  the visual and numbered  pictures provided in the instructions, set up the activity pieces as shown - in their visual  and numbered format. This is helpful in 2 different ways:

  1. This provides enough visual clarity for a person to set up each activity correctly. 
  2. It also ensures that the activity pieces will be set up in the correct format for the person who will be doing the activity.

7. Counting jig / counting board: back to top

It is important to count correctly - in correct amounts requested. Where needed, a counting jig is provided to assist with counting a specific number amount of items correctly.

Simply place one activity pieces on each number of a numbered counting jig. (always working from left to right). Stop when the person gets to the requested number of items (example: if 5 items are required, place one item on each number on the jig, stopping after reaching number 5. The counted items are next packaged. 

8. Work from left to right: back to top

We write from left to right, read from left to right, so an activity should be structured and organized to  be set up and completed by working from left to right.  This provides a person with organization and visual structure (TEACCH Methodology). Each of our activities are designed to be visually structured in this manor.

9. Multiple Levels: back to top

Many of the activities have different levels - creating a hierarchy. Many of the activities can contain from 1 - 3 different levels.

An activity can be completed doing Level 1. When Level 1 is mastered, it makes sense to next go to Level 2. This higher level maybe done a little differently, or may require  the person to use an increased amount of skills. When Level 2 is mastered, proceed to Level 3. This level may have an increased amount of work, or may require a person to complete the activity differently than done in the previous levels. 

The changes are subtle - just enough to expand thinking.

10. Fill an order: back to top

When doing a typical activity, there is a beginning and there is an end - simply do it and finish it. 

The thought is: Just because an activity is completed or mastered, why stop there?

Is there a way to expand on what a person can do within an activity?

Are there additional skills that can be introduced or combined in an activity?

We feel that there are, so the option to ‘Fill an Order’ has been added to many of our activities. 

The reasoning for this is to provide opportunity to expand skills, and a method to see what the person really understood from doing the activity.

To fill an order: An activity must first be completed before an order can be filled. 

A set of order cards is provided - (sometimes several sets - each set in a different level, creating a hierarchy). Always begin with Level 1. Take one card- look carefully at it - remove the ordered amount of items, or colors, etc. of activity pieces from the completed activity - next, package the ordered items together with the order card. Repeat, to complete the set of order cards in this  manor. 

It is not suggested to proceed to a higher level set of order cards until Level 1 has been mastered, as each level of order cards has a  higher level of difficulty, or may require the use of additional skills. 

11. Wood assistance jig: back to top

The process of picking up laminated activity pieces or small coins can be difficult for some people.That is why wood assistance jigs are available. Simply put the activity cards or coins into a jig to make it easier to pick up the items. It is also a nice way to use pincer grasp skills.

12. Finished labels: back to top

There is a clear beginning and end to each activity. Two velcroed finished labels are provided - one is pictorial and one is the word finished. A finished label suitable for the person doing the activity should be velcroed to a container large enough to hold the completed activity pieces. The container is always placed to the far right of the activity - because the person is working from left to right. The finished label visually clarifies that this labeled container is where the person should  put each activity piece when it is completed.