Priming involves previewing or describing an activity before it takes place. This helps make the activity more predictable and familiar to the student with autism. So, it can reduce anxiety that would make it more difficult to participate in the activity.
With an assignment, priming helps a student become familiar with the assignment's purpose and any required materials. Priming can be quick and simple. It should also be relaxing and supportive for the student. Here are some examples for how to use it with writing:
- A parent or teacher reads over the assignment with the student in advance, explaining it and answering questions.
- Show an example of a completed assignment (as well as rubric that lists expectations for the assignment and how it will be graded).
- Do a "think-aloud:" discuss the process someone would use to complete the assignment, and perhaps walk through the brainstorming that someone might use.
Graphic organizers for writing are visual supports that can be used to help organize writing. Here are some examples of graphic organizers.
Story Map/"Tell Me About the Story" -http://www.positivelyautism.com/downloads/StoryMap_Final.pdf
Action/Outcome Organizer - http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ActionOutcome-Organizer-cause-and-effect-practice-wwriting-drawing-1013619
Checklist for Young Writers - http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-Checklist-for-Young-Writers-Autism-Special-Education-Kindergarten-533006
Character, Setting, Problem, Solution Interactive Board - http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Character-Setting-Problem-Solution-Interactive-Board-1139816
Visual Paragraph Outline - http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Visual-Paragraph-Outline-1941790
Please note that this list of graphic organizers was compiled by Positively Autism. No endorsement by the authors or publishers of the journal article listed below is implied.
For more information and suggestions, please read the following:
Writing and the Autism Spectrum: Helping Students Through the Process by Lisa Meeks and Elise Geither
Journal: Good Autism Practice, Volume 15, Issue 2 (2014)