24 Tips to Help Your Child Learn to Follow Directions and Instructions

Are you looking for tips to help your child learn to follow directions and instructions? If so, keep reading.

1. Make sure you the student can hear you. If not, get a little closer.

2. Minimize the number of instructions given at one time (i.e., give the student each additional step after the conclusion of the prior step).

3. Make instructions important to the student. Attempt to relate instructions to future experiences on the job site.

4. Create task rules (e.g., listen to instructions, wait until all oral instructions have been given, ask questions about anything not grasped, make sure you have all the appropriate learning materials, and begin the task when you are sure about what you are supposed to do, etc.).

5. Make sure that the student is paying attention to the teacher (e.g., making eye contact, hands free of writing learning materials, looking at task, etc.) before instructions are given.

6. Urge the student to create an understanding of the consequences of their behavior by writing down or talking through problems that may happen due to their failure to receive/read instructions (e.g., if you don’t read the instructions before starting the task, you will waste time and possibly have to redo the task).

7. Give instructions on a one-to-one basis before assigning a task.

8. Inform the student that instructions will be given only once.

9. Praise those students who receive instructions before starting a new task.

10. Teach the student to follow graphic charts and diagrams closely when reading instructions.

11. Stop the student from beginning something before being given instructions (e.g., sit next to him/her, give out learning materials when it is time to begin the task, etc.).

12. Stop the student from becoming overstimulated by a learning experience(e.g., frustrated, angry, etc.).

13. Do not require the student to finish the task/learning experience in one sitting.

14. Urge the student to understand the consequences of impulsive behavior (e.g., if you begin a work task before all instructions are given, you may do things incorrectly).

15. Make sure that the student has all the learning materials needed to finish the task/learning experience.

16. Indicate what is to be done for the conclusion of the task (e.g., make definite starting and stopping points, find a minimum requirement, etc.).

17. Show the student that work done incorrectly during class time will have to be made up at other times (e.g., during homeroom, before/after school, during lunchtime, etc.).

18. Give the student more than enough time to finish a learning experience. As the student shows success, slowly decrease the amount of time given to finish a learning experience.

19. Connect with the student’s cooperative work experience/vocational education teacher to continuously reinforce receiving instructions prior to beginning a task.

20. Get the student to question any directions, explanations, or instructions not grasped before starting a task to reinforce comprehension.

21. Consider using a classroom management app to help the student learn to follow directions and instructions. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

22. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app to help the student learn to follow directions and instructions. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

23. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to follow directions and instructions. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

24. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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