Objective:Teach student to follow simple instructions.
Supplies: Instruction-specific materials
Step 1: Teach the student to follow a single one-step instruction or, preferably, a set of one-step instructions.
Step 2: Teach the student to follow a new one-step instruction or set of one-step instructions.
Step 3: Randomly present all one-step instructions the student has learned.
Next Steps: Teach the student each step in the list of Sample Skills to Teach.
• Different people (e.g., teacher, parent, peer)
• Different setting (e.g., classroom, lunchroom, park)
1. Sit facing the student.
2. Give a one-step instruction (e.g., “clap hands”).
3. To help the student respond correctly, prompt by physically guiding him to follow the instruction.
4. When the student responds correctly, provide verbal praise (e.g., “Great clapping!), and offer a reward such as a toy, snack, or token.
5. Gradually remove prompts until the student is able to respond independently (i.e., without your help).
6. Provide more/better rewards when the student responds correctly with less guidance, and the best rewards when the student responds correctly without guidance.
• While saying, “This is (clapping),” physically guide the student to follow the instruction.
• Show the student the correct response (e.g., say, “Do this,” and clap your hands).
Other Prompting Procedures
Immediately show the student the correct response (e.g., say, “Do this,” and clap your hands).
Problem: The student confuses similar instructions, such as “March” and “Jump.”
Solution: Initially, introduce instructions that are very different (e.g., involve different body parts or motions, sound different). Then gradually introduce instructions that are similar.
Problem: The student gives a consistent response for an instruction, but the form doesn’t look quite perfect.
Solution: Sometimes students lack the motor skills to perform certain instructions (e.g., a student may raise up his hand for “wave,” but will not move his wrist back and forth). Decide as a team what you will accept as a correct response, and consistently require that level of responding. Make sure the response you accept is functional.
Helpful Hints: For some students, it may be helpful initially to introduce instructions involving objects (e.g., “throw this away”). Others may perform better with instructions involving only the body.