Thursday, October 4, 2012

Quick Prompt

Several of my students are very impulsive.  They have difficulty waiting and often touch everything in sight.  They need support in learning how to use "waiting" hands. 

The Solution: I printed visual cue cards with "stop" and "waiting hands" on them for my staff to present to the students when they are impulsive.  

The Rework:  Unfortunately, we could never get the visual cue cards out quick enough to be effective until I attached them to a pull string name tag clip. 

***Money Saving Tip: You can often ask local businesses to donate these pull-string name tags. Several medical and pharmaceutical companies give them away as freebies to advertise their businesses.

"Stop" Visual Cue Card
"Waiting Hands" Visual Cue Card
Now, my staff and I wear the prompt on our aprons and quickly pull them out to be at the student's eye level.  

Our 6-pocket aprons are super handy! They are available for a good price
at restaurant supply websites like KNG.
My staff & I always wear aprons to keep everything we may need accessible. We keep hand sanitizer, various fidgets and other motivators (like M&M’s, stickers, mini marshmallows, etc.), Kleenex, one set of rubber gloves, and band-aids with us at all times.  

Instructor's Insight:  Visual prompts are more concrete to children with Autism and other disabilities.  It can take a student much longer to process the words "Stop" or "Waiting Hands" than it will for them to respond to representative images.  Also visual prompts are easier to fade than verbal ones.  Children are less likely to get dependent on a visual prompt compared to a verbal prompt.  

In my experience, children are able to comply with a visual prompt quicker and with less defiance.  When an adult tells a child to do something, it is easy for them to say "no". But when the visual cue is telling them to do something it is no longer a power struggle almost as if the child thinks the card says stop so I need to stop.  

One final note, research by Dr. Becky Bailey, 2001 states that "children think in pictures until they are 9 years of age”.  Children with disabilities may think in pictures much longer.  You can learn more about Dr. Bailey’s research at the

Home Adaption:  Nametag Quick Prompts can also be used at home or on the go to prompt children to look, wait, be quiet, stop, etc.  Parents and caregivers can attach them to their purse or jacket so they have them when they are out and about.  They're a great way to remind children how to behave in public.  

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