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Last Updated on May 3, 2022 by Steph Reed

Understanding whose turn it is

Children with autism can find it difficult to predict what will or could happen next. It can therefore be challenging to understand who will be chosen to have a turn during a group or class activity. This can lead to anxious or ‘disruptive’ behaviour (such as calling out, crying and shouting) and the reason is that the child does not understand whose turn it is. This can be challenging for the child if they are eager to have a turn themselves. This can be easily avoided by using a visual resource to show the child exactly whose turn it is, even before the activity has begun. This will therefore immediately decrease any anxiety or confusion about whose turn it is because the child/ children can clearly see. Here are a few examples of a turn taking visual:

  • Photo board showing whose turn it is, on which day.
  • A spinning circle dial with everyone’s photo and an arrow which can be spun randomly to point to whose turn it is.
  • A board with Velcro so that a photo can be placed on to show whose turn it is.
  • turn taking asdteacher

    Make sure the visual resource is clear so the child/children know exactly whose turn it is!

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    Steph Reed

    Hi I’m Steph Reed, an Autism Specialist Teacher and Consultant. I teach schools, service and families practical ways to meet the needs of autistic children, to maximise their outcomes.