Updated: Aug 28
Do I have to teach my child Part 1 of this Requesting for Toys series first?
Yes you do, your child has to first understand the concept taught in Part 1 before moving on to Part 2. Part 1 is the 1st stage...click the image below to go straight to Part 1..
Is my child ready to move on to this level?
Before moving on, your child must first be able to pass the list below:
understand that she needs to touch the correct picture on the cupboard to get the toy that she wants
can touch the correct picture without anyone's help (independently)
can wait more patiently for you to give her the toy after she touches the picture
My child is still dependent on me to help her touch the picture, what can I do?
You need to do what is called "Prompt Fading". Gradually reducing the help.
When you first start, you might need to hold her wrist firmly and guide her hand to touch the correct picture.
After a few days, you can hold her wrist lightly while allowing her to move her own hand too. During this whole process you need to always ask questions such as, "What do you want? ". Until she is confident enough, say, "touch the train".
Your child may actually know what to do by now, however she might not be confident enough.
The next step (if needed), hold her shoulders only. If she gets stuck, just lift her elbow lightly....allow her to move her hand towards the direction of the picture.
Give her loads of praises...e.g. "good job", high fives and claps. She should be able to do this independently after a few days...
My child is able to do Part 1 independently, what is the next step?
It's preparation time...
You will need a camera for this.....or your mobile
Print out and laminate 2 A4 sized papers (landscape) with only the titles written on them as in the image below..Both the papers need to have the same tittle. Leave some space above the title for punching holes..
After laminating, paste on 2 thin strips of Velcro (the rough side) just like the 2 grey lines in the picture below on both the laminated A4 papers. The width of the strips can be around 5cm ..
Do remember to leave some space above the title for punching in holes...(for both the papers)
Print, laminate & cut out the 8 pictures of your child's favorite toys and activities
Paste some Velcro behind each card (for details, see the picture below)
Print 4 pictures per A4 size paper. See below for more details....
What is the goal of this activity?
The goal of part 2 of this series is for your child to go to the "Toys and Activities" card, that is pasted on the cupboard. Next, pull out the picture of the toy or activity that she wants to do and finally, give the picture to you.
How do I teach my child to do this?
Lets use the same example as in Part 1:
Every morning Liz likes to start her day by playing with her train set. After the train set, she then plays with her Lego. Usually children with autism have a fixed routine and a few favorite toys.
For the first few days or until she understands this new concept, it will be easier to do this activity with someone helping you ( your training partner)
Liz has already learnt to choose between 2 toys to play with in part 1. She also knows that she has to go to the cupboard and point to the picture of the toy that she wants.
Try to teach your child the word " cupboard" and show her the toy cupboard. In the future, she may come to you saying "cupboard" to get you to go to the toy cupboard.
Important: see picture below
Try to let Liz see you taking the "Toys and Activities" card from the cupboard.
Since this is a new skill, we will need the training partner to guide Liz.
Holding Liz's hand, the training partner must help Liz to quickly remove the Train card from the board and pass it to her Mum.
Immediately after receiving the card, her Mum has to quickly give her the train set.
Why is the timing very important?
The shorter the time between pulling out the picture, giving it to Mum and getting the train set, the easier it is for your child to understand the "action and consequence relationship".
The speed is only important during the initial stages. Once your child understands that you will give her the toy once she gives to the picture, you don't have to rush too much...
What's do I do next?
As you know from the example, after playing with the train set, she will want to play with her Lego...
If your child looks like she has finished playing with the train, go to the cupboard again with your training partner and repeat the same steps. Remember to say the words on the picture repeatedly so that your child will pick it up.
Should I put more of her favorite things in the cupboard?
Yes, but give her a few days to get used to this new method.
Adding more items into the cupboard
Your child loves to make things with her Play Dough.
Place the Play Dough on the floor or table and say "Play Dough"...Now show her the picture of the Play Dough that you took earlier, and say "Play Dough". Point to the Play Dough and the picture of the Play Dough repeatedly while saying the word too.
Show her that you are putting the Play Dough in the cupboard ( not at a time when she wants to play with it).
Show her too that you are pasting the Play Dough picture on the "Toys and Activities" card.
Wait for a time when your child looks bored or looks like she is looking for something..
You Say:" Do you want Play Dough?" "Lets go to the cupboard".
Bring down the Toys & Activities Card and point to the picture of the Play Dough.
If your training partner is not around...
Place the Card on the floor, guide your child to pull out the Play Dough picture and give it to you.
You Say: "Good Job" "Let's get the Play Dough" ( while you open the door and pull out the Play Dough). Give it to her as soon as possible..
Do I continue to put more of her things into the cupboard?
It all depends on how your child is doing.
For example, she now understands that you are not taking away all her toys from her. She knows that they are in the cupboard. Additionally she understands that all she needs to do is to give you the correct picture to get her toy.
If she is at the level of the example above, keep adding 1 card and a toy a day. But go through the same process as above...where you show her the real toy and it's matching picture...
Make sure she sees you putting her toy in the cupboard and its picture on the card.
For a week or so, watch your child closely....Does she look like she wants something?
If she does, you say,
"What do you want?" "Shall we go to the cupboard?" Try to lead her to the cupboard and show the Toys & Activities Card
Before moving on too far ahead, make sure that your child can pull the card out and give it to you independently.
Practice Prompt Fading
What is Prompt Fading?
The process of Prompt Fading is explained above, under the question:
"My child is still dependent on me to help her touch the picture, what can I do?"
You can use the 2nd laminated A4 card to add on more pictures and do look out for Part 3 of this series.....
How do I teach my child to request for other things?
Check out our making request to do action activities such as cycle, slide, swing, run, dance and more....click on the post covers below for part 1, 2 and 3 of the series..
I heard about the benefits of becoming a member of Louis Center's "Parents as Therapists" Program. Can I join the program?
This program is available only for parents who have children with special needs. Membership is ABSOLUTELY FREE.
Click the image below to learn more or to join our "Parents As Therapists" Program.
OR find out more about it in our post below