Children with autism often have difficulties making sense of the language that they hear and may struggle to filter instructions from background noise.  This is why children with autism are predominantly visual learners and respond so positively to visual strategies.

If your child has difficulties with auditory processing then try some of these tried and tested strategies:
  • Keep instructions short and use simple vocabulary.
  • Give one task at a time to decrease the processing load.
  • Give the child time to answer: they may be unable to give you a response immediately, but it does not mean that they don't know the answer.  Some children can take as long as 25 seconds to process an instruction.
  • If a child is taking time to answer try and refrain from repeating the instruction using a new sentence structure. The pupil will then stop processing your original instruction, as their brain is telling them that you have asked something different.
  • Monitor the rate that you are delivering information: if you speak too quickly, or too slowly it will be harder for the young person to process what you are saying.
  • Keep using visual strategies like timetables and task boards.