What to look for when selecting a Preschool for an ASD child:

Has the child “learned how to learn yet”? If not, they may not be ready for school placement. See: http://www.iloveaba.com/2016/02/the-basics-intervention-for-early.html

Intentional strategies to increase social engagement and guide varied functional play development

Encourage/facilitate interactive (play that involves others) play more than object (interacting with toys/inanimate objects) play

Use of visual supports to increase understanding and comprehension of classroom rules and expectations

Includes structure/routine, a “sameness” from one day to the next

Ongoing and open communication between parents, teachers, and school administration

Teachers should be adept at delivering concise instruction, focusing on concrete language

Teachers should be adept at establishing instructional control, as well as using effective prompting to help the child be successful

Teachers should be adept at using reinforcement to increase desired behaviors

Teachers should be adept at utilizing child’s interests and motivation to facilitate learning (particularly to facilitate communication)

Consistency in teaching strategies and behavior management treatment is key

Behavioral interventions should be based on data, and individualized to the child

Intentionally offer choices throughout the day, may be necessary to use photos or objects to make choice options more concrete

Some small group or 1:1 instruction opportunities; not all instruction should be large group

Inclusion with peer models, but may require facilitation to interact/engage with peers (while spending time with typically developing peers is critical, the ASD child may not know how to engage with peers)

Embed social interaction throughout the day to create opportunities for communication. Examples- place desired items slightly out of reach, pause and wait before giving assistance, require more and more complex language to request (or closer and closer approximations to words), encourage eye contact when interacting, play with the child and insert questions or simple receptive instructions (“give me the red block”), etc.

Recommendations based on best practice outlines provided by The National Autism Center (www.nationalautismcenter.org) and The Association for Science in Autism Treatment (www.asatonline.org)Type your paragraph here.