As the school year approaches (and in some cases, begins) parents across the country are vexed with the same question: How do I find out what happened in school today?! While typically developing children can be pestered with questions until they finally say more than "nothing" (a use, by the way, of negative reinforcement), many children with autism will struggle to answer such questions. Below is one strategy that has been helpful in teaching children to recall events from school.
At the end of the day, the teacher or teacher's aide asks the student one question about the day (e.g., "What was for lunch in the cafeteria?" "What letter did we talk about today?" "What did you make (in art)?" "What book did we read?"). The student answers the question. If the student cannot answer the question, the teacher prompts an appropriate answer. The teacher writes the question on a note card, with the answer on the back, and indicates if the answer was prompted. When the student goes home, his parents say hi, take the note card out of his backpack, and ask that question.
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