Simple Strategies that Work

(For more able students with Autism & Asperger Syndrome)

Smith Myles, B., Adreon, D., & Gitlitz, D. (2006). Simple Strategies That Work, helpful hints for all educators of students with Asperger Syndrome, high-functioning autism, and related disorders. Autism Asperger Publishing Co. Kansas: Shawnee Mission. With permission. 

These strategies are a good general guideline when providing support for students but they are also important to remember at home and in other settings.
  1. Operate on Asperger time
    1. Twice as much time, half as much done
    2. Modify requirements – focus on essentials
    3. Reduce or eliminate handwriting
    4. Avoid rushing
  2. Manage the environment
    1. Prepare for change
    2. Incorporate the student’s preferences
    3. Build in relaxation
    4. Provide choices
  3. Create a balanced agenda that conserves energy
    1. Monitor demands
    2. Engage the student in a familiar or calming activity early in the school day to prepare him or her for work
    3. Incorporate special interests into assignments
    4. Alternate difficult and less difficult tasks as well as interchange non-preferred and preferred activities
    5. Provide “down time” in the schedule
    6. Use calming and alerting activities
  4. Share the agenda
    1. Use visual supports to provide information and encourage independence
  5. Simplify language
    1. Watch for literalness
    2. Teach the “hidden curriculum” (unwritten social rules)
  6. Set a calm, positive tone
    1. Model acceptance
  7. Live out loud
    1. Verbalize your actions
  8. Be generous with praise
    1. Foster attribution and understanding (for the student)
  9. Listen to the words
    1. Seek and offer clarification
  10. Provide reassurance
    1. Reduce uncertainty


Keywords: Teaching Strategies, Asperger Syndrome, Education


Disclaimer: This document reflects the views of the author. It is Autism Ontario’s intent to inform and educate. Every situation is unique and while we hope this information is useful, it should be used in the context of broader considerations for each person. Please contact Autism Ontario at or 416-246-9592 for permission to reproduce this material for any purpose other than personal use. © 2012 Autism Ontario  416.246.9592