A task analysis is when we break down a skill into small steps and make a list of the steps. This helps us more easily teach the skill our students. A task analysis can be used for many different skills, and I often use them to teach self-help skills. I wanted to share a combination task analysis and data sheet for teaching hand washing.
What I first like to do is see how many steps the student can do independently. You'll have this data sheet with you, take the student to the sink, and say something like, "Wash your hands." Observe the student, and record which steps the student does without your help. In this case, the student did 2 steps independently.
- Full Physical,
- Partial Physical,
- Full Verbal,
- Partial Verbal,
- Model, and
- Partial Model.
For handwashing, I often recommend using physical or model prompts. Make sure to fade (reduce) the prompts as soon as possible. If you're not familiar with using these prompts, please read these two blog posts and talk with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
- Procedures for Prompt Fading: http://theautismhelper.com/procedures-prompt-fading/
- Guide For Using Prompts To Teach Individuals With Special Needs: http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2013/04/22/a-complete-guide-for-using-prompts-to-teach-individuals-with-special-needs/
Here's what the data sheet might look like filled out after a few sessions of practice: