How to teach your teen with autism to request a break

Self –regulation is a needed life skill not practiced by most teenagers. Often teens on the spectrum need sensory breaks to help them self-regulate, yet some are unable to communicate the need for one. If you are a parent or an educator, you may want to consider teaching the teen to request a break using a “ I need a break” card. This may be helpful in preventing meltdowns or compliance issues. Teenagers need to be given more control over their time and need to be able to request necessary breaks  in an appropriate manner.

Let’s say you have a student that you work one-on-one with for a one hour slot of time. Every time you sit down to work with him, after about 20 minutes he gets up and leaves the worktable and there is no holding him back. What you need to do is teach him to communicate to you when he needs a break, and allow him to have those needed breaks within reason. Here is one way to do that: Continue reading »