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Autism Resources and Community (ARC)

Welcome to the Autism Resources & Community (ARC)!

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      Winner of the Feedspot Top 50 Blogs on Autism Award

      Awarded Action Behavior Center's Top 25 Autism blogs of 2020

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Teaching with Pictures

      Autism and Language

      Teaching Parts of Speech to Children with Autism: Prepositions, Opposites, Pronouns and Verb Tense

      Children with autism frequently have delayed language development. For children with autism who have developed language, understanding or using parts of speech correctly may be difficult. While many children develop language skills incidentally, parts of speech such as prepositions, opposites, pronouns or verb tenses may be more difficult and require explicit instruction. Understanding parts of speech are important because it shows how words relate to one another in a meaningful way and allows for clear communication.

      Updated on 5/3/20 1:49 PM

      Updated by Chloe Fay on 5/3/20 1:49 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Advice for Parents and Caregivers

      COVID-19 Emergency Response

      Language Builder ARIS Free Emergency Resources: Overview

      Given current circumstances you may be faced with the unexpected challenge of educating and engaging your child with autism or other special needs at home. With so much in flux, we want to offer free lessons, materials, activity sheets, data tracking sheets, behavior management tools, and a basic overview of how to use the system at home with your children.

      Updated on 3/23/20 4:26 PM

      Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 3/23/20 4:26 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Advice for Parents and Caregivers

      COVID-19 Emergency Response

      Tips for Implementing Language Builder ARIS Emergency at-Home Lessons

      I truly hope that the downloadable Language Builder ARIS lessons have been helpful as you endeavor to set up your child's at-home education program. It has become crystal clear to us over the past several days that there is a dire need for resources to support parents as they adapt to recent school closures. We are committed to providing digital resources and virtual assistance to get you though this tough period so that your child can continue learning and building new skills. 

      Updated on 3/23/20 2:41 PM

      Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 3/23/20 2:41 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Advice for Parents and Caregivers

      COVID-19 Emergency Response

      Do-It-Yourself Materials for ABA-based Lessons

      For the free lessons we provided in our ARIS Emergency Home Autism Education Program we have included a variety of photo cards that you can download, print and get started with, including: Nouns, Occupations, Emotions, Sequencing and Verbs. You can see that many lessons reference specific Stages products, which you may not have access to. This information is designed to help you source some of these materials yourself so you can expand the content you teach in each lesson.

      Updated on 3/19/20 7:37 PM

      Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 3/19/20 7:37 PM

      Early Childhood Education

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Teaching with Pictures

      Autism and Language

      The “Why” and the “What” Behind Language Builder: Academic Readiness Intervention System (ARIS)

      ARIS was created with access and implementation in mind: intended to make the principles of ABA easily accessible and easy to implement for educators working with children with autism who may not have formal ABA training.

      Recent research has highlighted the lack of evidence-based strategies and adequate learning programs for students with autism (Stahmer, et al., 2015). Even when teachers have access to learning programs for their students with autism, many lack consistency and effectiveness in using it. Research indidates that many classrooms vary greatly in their implementation of evidence-based practices and various learning curricula, but teachers are more likely to use instructional tools that are highly structured and when they feel supported by ongoing training for those tools (Stahmer, et al., 2015).

      Updated on 10/20/19 9:53 AM

      Updated by Madeline Burroughs on 10/20/19 9:53 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Lesson Plan: ImPRINTING Food Vocabulary to Learn Language Skills

      Lesson Overview

      Create an art print to reinforce food vocabulary and encourage tactile exploration.

      Download Lesson Plan:

       

      Skills Practiced

      • Key Food Vocabulary
      • Tactile Sensory Processing
      • Fine Motor Skills

      Materials

      • Language Builder 3D - 2D Animal Matching Kit

      • Target Food (select from apple, banana, broccoli, carrots, corn, orange, bread or cookie)

      • Paper Bag (or Cloth Sack)

      • Washable Paint

      • 18” x 24” Construction Paper 

      • Smock

      • Paper Plate (or Reusable Container)

      People

      Appropriate for one-on-one instruction or a small group of learners

      Updated on 4/15/18 5:02 AM

      Updated by Lucia Berliner on 4/15/18 5:02 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Lesson Plan: Using Identical Matching to Teach Beginning Language Skills to Children with Autism

      Lesson Overview

      Students will use Language Builder 3D – 2D Matching Kits to practice matching things that are the same.

      Download Lesson Plan:

      Skills Practiced

      • Matching
      • Social skills

      Materials

      People

      This activity can be done with just one child or in a larger group, in a classroom or therapy setting. 



      Updated on 3/9/18 9:04 PM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 3/9/18 9:04 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Storytelling and Recall with Animals Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      Teach storytelling skills, animal names, and recall skills with this story-based lesson plan.

      Download Lesson Plan:

      Skills Practiced

      • Storytelling
      • Recall
      • Improvisation

      Materials

      People

      This activity can be done with just one child or in a larger group, in a classroom or therapy setting. Children should be familiar with basic elements of a story and with animal names.

      Updated on 3/6/18 7:06 AM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 3/6/18 7:06 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Mastering Matching 3D - 2D Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      In this lesson, the child will learn how to match 3D objects to 2D picture cards of the same object.

      Download Lesson Plan:

      Skills Practiced

      • 3D - 2D Matching
      • Receptive Language

      Materials

      People

      This lesson is best suited for one-on-one sessions with a teacher or therapist. The child should have mastered 3D object to 2D picture matching.

      Updated on 3/3/18 6:43 PM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 3/3/18 6:43 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Spelling/Reading Food Names Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      Practice reading and spelling food names with these movement-based activities.

      Download Lesson Plan:

      Skills Practiced

      • 

Reading
      • Spelling
      • Recognizing food names

      Materials

      People

      

This game can be played with children in a small group or in a larger classroom group setting.

      Updated on 2/25/18 9:23 AM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 2/25/18 9:23 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      My Favorite Things Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      Learn about different action verbs and express why they dislike or like common activities

      Download Lesson Plan:

      Skills Practiced

      • Asking and answering “why” questions
      • Identifying and associating verbs and common emotions

      Materials

      People

      This lesson is ideal for any number of students, ideally for kindergarten - 2nd grade, a beginning ELL student, or for a one-on-one session with a therapist. Students should be familiar with the emotions chosen for review in this lesson.

      Updated on 2/16/18 7:47 AM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 2/16/18 7:47 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Where Do You Move? Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      Learn about different action verbs and review prepositions through the Stages Learning Verb Cards

      Download Lesson Plan:

      Skills Practiced

      • Vocabulary
      • Grammar (present and prepositions)

      Materials

      People

      This lesson is ideal for any number of students, ideally for kindergarten - 2nd grade, or a beginning ELL student

      Updated on 2/9/18 7:34 PM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 2/9/18 7:34 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Let's Move With Verbs Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      Learn about different action verbs and review present and past tense through the Stages Learning Verb Cards

      Download Lesson Plan:

      Skills Practiced

      • Acting
      • Vocabulary
      • Grammar (present and past tense verbs)

      Materials

      People

      This lesson is ideal for 2+ students, ideally for kindergarten - 2nd grade, or a beginning ELL student

      Updated on 1/21/18 12:57 PM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 1/21/18 12:57 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Link4fun Lesson Plan: Identify, Categorize & Communicate!

      Lesson Overview

      Students will use the Link4Fun Cards to practice identifying, categorizing, and communicating with vocabulary words. Students will interact with the teacher or therapist using vocabulary cards with interactive technology. Each part of the lesson plan can be extended or shortened depending on the needs of the child.

      Updated on 1/22/17 9:27 PM

      Updated by Grace Chen on 1/22/17 9:27 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Link4fun Lesson Plan: Early Literacy & Social Skills Development

      Lesson Overview

      Students will use the Link4Fun book and app to develop their literacy, social skills, and vocabulary. Students will interact with the teacher or therapist using a print-based picture book with a digital device for an interactive reading experience. Each part of the lesson plan can be extended or shortened depending on the needs of the child.

      Updated on 1/21/17 9:36 PM

      Updated by Grace Chen on 1/21/17 9:36 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Link4fun Lesson Plan: Learning About Verbs

      Lesson Overview

      Learn about different action verbs through the animals in the Link4fun Pets book

      Download Lesson Plan:

      Skills Practiced

      • Acting
      • Vocabulary
      • Grammar

      Materials

      People

      This lesson can be for an individual child or adapted for a larger group, ideally for preschool or kindergarten, or a beginning ELL student

      Updated on 1/16/17 11:17 AM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 1/16/17 11:17 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Link4fun Lesson Plan: Learning About Textures

      Lesson Overview

      Learn about different textures through the animals in the Link4fun Wild Animals book.

      Updated on 1/10/17 9:30 PM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 1/10/17 9:30 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Practicing Math and Engineering Skills with Blocks

      Lesson Overview

      Using the Language Builder Blocks and customized dice, children practice math and engineering skills in this creative challenge.

      Updated on 11/17/16 11:10 AM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 11/17/16 11:10 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Hide and Seek with Blocks Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      Play this twist on hide and seek to teach collaboration and teamwork.

      Updated on 11/16/16 11:10 AM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 11/16/16 11:10 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Practicing Number Skills with Blocks Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      Use the Language Builder Blocks as a quick way to practice number skills.

      Updated on 11/2/16 8:54 PM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 11/2/16 8:54 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Improv Storytelling with Blocks Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      This lesson will build storytelling skills in a hilarious, creative way.

      Download Lesson Plan:

      Skills Practiced

      • Storytelling
      • Gross motor development
      • Geometry, numerical skills
      • Communication skills

      Materials

      People

      Play with just one child or in small groups of preschool/kindergarten children

      Setup

      Find a space with room to spread out the blocks.

      Updated on 10/21/16 12:21 PM

      Updated by Sophia Chung on 10/21/16 12:21 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Building Vocabulary with U-Play Mat Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      Students will use the U-Play Mat to practice identifying, categorizing, and communicating with vocabulary words. Each part of the lesson plan can be extended or shortened depending on the needs of the child.

      Updated on 8/23/16 7:37 AM

      Updated by Grace Chen on 8/23/16 7:37 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Sequencing Cards Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      Students will use sequencing cards to review vocabulary words and practice ordering events.

      Download Lesson Plan:

      Skills Practiced

      • Picture identification and vocabulary
      • Fine and gross motor development
      • Conceptualization skills
      • Communication skills
      • Sequencing skills 

      Materials

      People

      This lesson is designed for 1:1 instruction with a teacher or therapist. It can also be adapted for use with a small group of 2-4 students.

      Updated on 7/23/16 12:30 PM

      Updated by Grace Chen on 7/23/16 12:30 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Bingo Generator Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      Students will review vocabulary words and play bingo using Stages Learning Bingo Generator Cards. Students can also review vocabulary in foreign languages since the Bingo Generator Cards are available in Spanish and French.

      Updated on 6/22/16 2:17 PM

      Updated by Grace Chen on 6/22/16 2:17 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Feelings Box Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview

      Students will review the Emotion Flash Cards and create their own chart depicting various emotions. Students will then think of emotions they show outside and inside to make a feelings box.

      Updated on 5/30/16 11:35 AM

      Updated by Grace Chen on 5/30/16 11:35 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Animal Cards Dance Party

      Lesson Overview

      Students will make an animal that they would most like to be or admire in some way. Students will then choose a song that their animal likes and move their animal to the rhythm of the music. Students will then listen to various types of music and choose other animals to move, following the rhythm of the song. Students will then see how different animals might interact with each other. This is an early childhood activity that can be adapted to special needs students by breaking down the activities and reinforcing the steps separately. Students can build skills that they can use to interact with their peers.

      Updated on 4/1/16 8:01 AM

      Updated by Grace Chen on 4/1/16 8:01 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      What Just Happened?

      Lesson Overview

      Students will verbalize an inference about the events leading up to a visual scene by explaining “what just happened” in response to visual cues.

      Updated on 2/22/16 5:00 AM

      Updated by Grace Chen on 2/22/16 5:00 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Occupation Card Perspective-Taking

      Lesson Overview

      Students will infer how professionals feel at work by verbally elaborating on visuals from occupation cards.

      Updated on 1/26/16 10:42 PM

      Updated by Marysa Sheren, M.Ed. Technology, Innovation, and Education on 1/26/16 10:42 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Emotion Card Holiday Stories

      Lesson Overview

      Students will match December holiday vocabulary words with emotion cards by creating a holiday sentence. 

      Updated on 12/18/15 3:50 PM

      Updated by Marysa Sheren, M.Ed. Technology, Innovation, and Education on 12/18/15 3:50 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Building Basic Letter Knowledge with U-Play Mat

      Lesson Overview

      In this activity, children will work on recognizing beginning letters of words and will find corresponding plastic letter to build basic letter knowledge. 

      Updated on 11/17/15 5:00 PM

      Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 11/17/15 5:00 PM

      Blending Hands-on & Digital Activities

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Autism Technology

      Using the Free Language Builder App and Language Builder Cards Together

      Lesson Overview:

      Students will use Language Builder cards with the Language Builder App to practice similar matching in both a digital and physical setting.

      Updated on 10/1/15 10:11 PM

      Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 10/1/15 10:11 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Receptive Labeling Lesson Plan

       Lesson Overview:

      By touching or pointing to the appropriate card, students show that they recognize the word and can identify the corresponding picture. This activity can be prefaced by the Picture ID lesson to familiarize the student with the pictures he/she is finding.

      Updated on 7/30/15 12:15 PM

      Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 7/30/15 12:15 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Expressive Labeling Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview:

      Students will practice expressive language skills by verbally identifying a picture on a card. Skills practiced include expressive language, picture identification and photo identification.

      Updated on 6/30/15 9:27 AM

      Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 6/30/15 9:27 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Picture ID Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview:

      Students will learn picture identification based on word association. Skills practiced include receptive language and photo discrimination.

      Updated on 5/30/15 10:05 AM

      Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 5/30/15 10:05 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Guess Who Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview:

      Students increase their understanding of jobs, tools used for certain jobs and identify features of particular workers by guessing which occupation the teacher is describing.

      Updated on 4/22/15 2:14 PM

      Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 4/22/15 2:14 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Tell Me About Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview:

      Students will learn job identification and better understanding of tools and identifying features of particular workers as they respond to the prompt, "Tell me about..." to describe a worker and/or a worker’s job as depicted on Language Builder Occupation Cards.

      Updated on 4/22/15 2:07 PM

      Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 4/22/15 2:07 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Identical Matching Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview:

      This lesson plan teaches fine motor and receptive language skills in order to have students match identical pictures of familiar objects.

      Updated on 3/18/15 9:22 AM

      Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 3/18/15 9:22 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Adjectives Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview:

      This lesson plan focuses on the uses of adjectives and other descriptive terms to discuss the attributes of objects shown in the pictures with a teacher, and develops picture identification and vocabulary skills.
      In a Hurry? Download a print-friendly version of this lesson plan:

      Updated on 3/16/15 12:48 PM

      Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 3/16/15 12:48 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Functions Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview:

      This lesson plan practices sentence building, picture identification and vocabulary development. Students look at pictures of objects and describe the function of each item.

      Updated on 3/16/15 9:52 AM

      Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 3/16/15 9:52 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      "I Need Help" Lesson Plan

      Lesson Overview:

      This lesson plan reinforces the idea that sometimes, you just need a little help! Students use their problem-solving skills to identify when they need help, then advocate appropriately to get the assistance they need to complete a puzzle that is missing a piece.

      Updated on 10/4/14 6:26 PM

      Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 10/4/14 6:26 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Teaching with Pictures

      Autism and Language

      Autism & Emotions

      Go Fish with the Language Builder Emotion Cards!

      This lesson plan gives the classic card game Go Fish an emotional makeover! Students work on their expressive and receptive vocabulary and understanding of the five basic emotions, all while practicing social skills, taking turns, and following the rules of the game.

      In a hurry?  Download a one page description of this lesson plan by clicking on the picture below:

      Updated on 8/30/14 4:57 PM

      Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 8/30/14 4:57 PM

      Blending Hands-on & Digital Activities

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Language Builder App

      Autism and Language

      Autism Technology

      Using the Language Builder App with Picture Bingo

      Lesson Description

      Students will use the “Picture Identification” activity within the Language Builder app to call out the bingo prompt.  

      Updated on 8/30/14 4:51 PM

      Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 8/30/14 4:51 PM

      Blending Hands-on & Digital Activities

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Language Builder App

      Autism and Language

      Autism Technology

      Using the Language Builder App and Language Builder Cards Together

      So you’ve just downloaded the new Language Builder app. That means you can throw out all your paper flash cards right? NO!! As you may have already realized through our previous blogs, we are big proponents for blending hands-on and digital learning. There are so many ways that you can combine both digital and tangible resources to support deeper engagement.

      Our intent with the app is to complement, rather than replace, the physical products. We will begin a new blog series demonstrating ways to use your physical language builder cards and other Stages products in conjunction with the app. 

      Updated on 8/30/14 4:49 PM

      Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 8/30/14 4:49 PM

      About Autism

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Basic Matching Activities

      Why Matching Activities for Children with Autism?

      Note: These activities are excerpted from the Language Builder® ARIS Full Autism Curriculum developed by Stages Learning Materials.

      What does matching teach a child? How can this be a step toward developing language? Matching skills are essential for language development for children with autism.

      In ABA therapy matching skills typically follow a hierarchy from the easiest and most accessible matching activities using identical physical objects to the more complex and abstract notion of matching representations of objects, such as those found in specially designed picture cards. As the child advances in matching activities they are able to connect physical objects with cards that represent the objects: A big leap forward in the development of language skill learning! Research demonstrates that using a progression of matching activities using ABA therapy techniques provides children with scaffolding needed to develop language skills.

      Stages Learning Materials has created Language Builder® Matching Kits specially designed to foster identical and similar matching activities using objects and cards. The Language Builder® series is used widely by researchers and ABA therapists.

       

      The Hierarchy of Matching Activities   

      1. Start with identical objects (3D - 3D matching): Match apple with apple

      Choose a 3D object to start with. Bowls and Cups, as offered in the Everyday Object Matching Kit are often a good first choice because they “nest,” which is a natural motivator for students to stack them together. Alternatively start with an object that is attractive or motivating to your particular student. If your student tends to engage in wheel-spinning stimulatory behavior, you may not want to start with wheeled vehicles.

      1. Sit in a chair or on the floor with the student
      2. Make sure you have the child’s attention
      3. Place 1 object in front of the student
      4. Hand your student the identical object and ask the student to match the objects
      5. Typical commands include “Match the Apples” “Put with Same” “Put Apple with Apple”
      6. Prompt if necessary
      7. Wait for the student to match the object correctly
      8. Reinforce the student

      Once the student has mastered matching one object, you can then move through the list of identical objects to match. As the student becomes more competent matching identical objects in a field of one, you can then add more objects to the field so the student will have to scan the objects before matching.

       

      1. Next, match objects to pictures and pictures to objects (3D - 2D Matching): Match horse object with horse card.

      Choose a 3D object to start with. The Language Builder® 3D - 2D Matching Kits, such as the Food or Animal kits, are perfect for this matching activity.  Start with an object that is attractive or motivating to your particular student. It is a good idea to choose an object with which your student has had significant success matching in the 3D - 3D matching activity.animal-matching-kit-1.jpg

      1. Sit in a chair or on the floor with the student
      2. Make sure you have the child’s attention
      3. Place 1 picture card in front of the student
      4. Hand your student the corresponding 3D object and ask the student to match the objects
      5. Typical commands include “Match the Apples” “Put with Same” “Put Apple with Apple”
      6. Prompt if necessary
      7. Wait for the student to match the object correctly
      8. Reinforce the student

      Once the student has mastered matching one object to the corresponding photo card, you can then move through the list of identical objects to match. As the student becomes more competent matching object to card in a field of one, you can then add more objects to the field so the student will have to scan the objects before matching.  There are additional lessons designed for 3D - 2D matching at the end of this article.

       

      1. Next, advance to photo identical matching (2D - 2D): Match picture of car to picture of car.

      Choose a card from the Language Builder® Picture Nouns set to start. Begin with a card that has an image that is attractive or motivating to your particular student. It is a good idea to choose an object with which your student has had significant success matching in the 3D - 3D, and 2D - 3D matching activities.

      1. Sit in a chair or on the floor with the student
      2. Make sure you have the child’s attention
      3. Place 1 picture card in front of the student
      4. Hand your student the corresponding picture card and ask the student to match the pictures
      5. Typical commands include “Match the Apples” “Put with Same” “Put Apple with Apple”
      6. Prompt if necessary
      7. Wait for the student to match the picture cards correctly
      8. Reinforce the student

      Once the student has mastered matching one photo card to the corresponding photo card, you can then ask the student to match other identical pictures. As the student becomes more competent matching card to card in a field of one, you can then add more cards to the field so the student will have to scan the cards before matching.

       

      1. Finally, advance to photo similar matching: Match orange cat with white cat.

      Choose a card from the Language Builder® Picture Nouns set to start. Begin with a card that has an image that is attractive or motivating to your particular student. It is a good idea to choose an object with which your student has had significant success with in previous matching activities. picture-nouns-lb-546971-edited.jpg

      1. Sit in a chair or on the floor with the student
      2. Make sure you have the child’s attention
      3. Place 1 picture card in front of the student
      4. Hand your student the corresponding similar but not identical picture card and ask the student to match the pictures
      5. Typical commands include “Match the Cats” “Put with Same” “Put Cat with Cat”
      6. Prompt if necessary
      7. Wait for the student to match the picture cards correctly
      8. Reinforce the student

       Once the student has mastered matching one photo card to the corresponding similar photo card, you can then ask the student to match other similar pictures. As the student becomes more competent matching card to card in a field of one, you can then add more cards to the field so the student will have to scan the cards before matching

       

      Research on Matching: 3D - 2D is Essential

      Basic matching is one of the first lessons taught in an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) program for children with autism. Teaching early language skills to children with autism often begins with having children match identical objects. Before a child can learn that the picture of an object actually represents a real item (picture-object correspondence), the child may need to start learning by matching actual physical objects. It is often necessary to start by matching 3D objects such as cups or toy cars and later transition to matching identical images on cards (Blumberg & Hurley, 2007).

      Teaching daily living skills to children with autism often depends on using activity schedules and sequencing charts. These tools are effective only at the point at which children have mastered the prerequisite skills of matching a 2D image to a 3D object (Haas, 2011). Until a child has the capacity to understand that a 2D image such as a picture of a toothbrush represents an actual object, being able to prompt a child to engage in brushing their teeth cannot be accomplished using an activity schedule or card. Some children will eventually be able to move from seeing an actual toothbrush, to recognizing a card that has a photographic image of a toothbrush, to recognizing the word “toothbrush.” Other children with more severe language delays will only be able to respond to 3D prompts (Baynham, 2007).

       

      The Research Connection Between Matching Activities and Language Development

      3d2dmatching.jpgIn a study using different types of photographs, symbols, and objects to teach language skills to 40 non-verbal subjects with autism the real objects proved to be much more readily recognized than any of the other representations of objects (Mirenda & Locke, 1989).

      Typically developing infants and children under the age of three also learn from viewing 3D objects and often cannot process a 2D picture of an object until a later age. Researchers testing 5-month-old infants found that these infants could not understand 2-D images, but when presented with the same content in 3D representations infants were able to understand the objects. The researchers found that by examining 3D objects children naturally learn about objects in their world and that being able to examine a 3D object provides additional sensory information rather than just viewing a 2D image on a card (Mash & Boornstein, 2012).

       

      The following are resources that can help support basic matching activities to promote language development:

      Lesson Plans:

      Resources for Matching Activities

      Stages also offers 10 Memory Card Games that teach matching skills

       

      References to Research on Matching and Language Development

      Baynham, Tanya Yvonne. (2007). Training a non-match response: Toward a technology for determining controlling stimulus dimensions for two children with autism. University of North Texas, Dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

      Blumberg, E.R. & Hurley, E. (2007). Enhancing Early Intervention for Parents of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Information, Strategies, & Resources. New Brunswick, NJ: The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities.

      Haas, Stephanie Iwanciow. (2011). “Teaching daily living skills to young adults with autism: the creation of a curriculum guide for special education teachers.” California State University: M.A. Thesis. Available: http://digitalcommons.csumb.edu/caps_thes/426 

      Mash, C., & Bornstein, M. H. (2012). 5-month-olds’ categorization of novel objects: Task and measure dependence. Infancy, 17, 179-197.

      Mirenda, P., & Locke, P. (1989). A comparison of symbol transparency in nonspeaking persons with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 54, 131-140.

      Updated on 4/15/14 12:37 PM

      Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 4/15/14 12:37 PM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Collaborating with Stages Cube Puzzles

      Lesson Overview

      Student will gain familiarity with the Stages Cube puzzles through hands on exploration. 

      Objectives/Goals

      • Spatial awareness and hand eye coordination
      • Peer collaboration - working with others to solve a problem. 
      • Demonstrate an increasing attention span by remaining on a task until completion. 

      Updated on 4/14/14 11:24 AM

      Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 4/14/14 11:24 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Autism and Language

      Lang-O-Learn Everyday Objects & Kid in a Story App

      Stages Learning Materials is starting a new blog series around blending digital and hands-on learning. There are a lot of mixed messages surrounding the use of technology in early childhood. In a recent Edutopia article, Beth Holland advises teachers and parents to look beyond all the negative screen time publicity and to ask themselves three questions when choosing to use digital materials:

      1. Is it appropriate?
      2. Is it meaningful?
      3. Is it empowering?

      Lesson Overview

      Students will use Everyday Object Lang-O-Learn Cards in conjunction with Kid in a Story app to build vocabulary on common objects that can be found around the home and at school. The app enables sharing between parents, therapists, and teachers, which leads to consistency across all environments. 

      Objectives/Goals

      • Build expressive and receptive vocabulary surrounding common objects. 
      • Sharing activities across all learning environments (home, school, therapy).
      • Build digital and print literacy.

      Updated on 4/14/14 11:16 AM

      Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 4/14/14 11:16 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Food Description Bingo

      Lesson Overview

      Using Stages Bingo sets provides children an opportunity to build various language skills through seeing and hearing new vocabulary words. 

       

      Objectives/Goals 

      • Recognizing and naming familiar foods
      • Building descriptive vocabulary. Recognizing foods by description and providing basic descriptions for foods.  

      Updated on 4/14/14 11:08 AM

      Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 4/14/14 11:08 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Matching Things That Are the Same

      Lesson Overview

      Students will use Stages Learning Memory game to practice matching things that are the same.

      Objectives/Goals

      • Identify things that are the same. 
      • Engage in turn taking when working with others.

      Updated on 4/14/14 9:14 AM

      Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 4/14/14 9:14 AM

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Autism & Emotions

      Identifying Feelings with Emotion Cards

      Lesson Plan Overview

      Use Stages Emotion Cards with literature to support a child's recognition of facial emotions and feelings in various contexts.

      Objectives/Goals

      • Learn and name parts of the human face.
      • Learn that people carry many cues to identify how they feel.
      • Learn that facial expressions change as emotions change.

      Updated on 4/14/14 8:56 AM

      Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 4/14/14 8:56 AM

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