In spark*, spark*EL and Self-Regulation in Everyday Life, after making sure children are aware they have the ability to do what we’re asking, we move on to working on their awareness of need. The focus of these activities is to ensure that they understand where and when they need to use the skills and strategies we practiced.

Why do we spend the time on this? Why do we prompt each child to think of times and places at home, at school and in the community where he needs to use his skills? Can’t we just skip over it?

Children on the autism spectrum have difficulty transferring or generalizing skills and knowledge from one situation to others. It’s been reported over and over again since at least the 1970’s (1).

Our children need direct support and help to generalize learning. They need our guidance in determining when and where to use their skills and strategies. This is what the Awareness of Need stage is about. We take the time to help the children form a solid foundation before moving on.

(1) https://gallery.mailchimp.com/752dae020cbd8f611e4590a94/files/eb9486b3-e419-4544-bb96-5b40338f4e93/jaba00045_0033.pdf

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash