Following Multi-Step Directions

Level 2: Receptive Language

Let’s face it – we are bossy pants. We are constantly telling our kids want to do. It’s okay. We should own it. But we do need to come to terms with the fact that many of our kiddos have no idea what we are telling them. Many times we are rattling multi-step directions at our students. In one quick breath we asking them to complete several tasks in a specific order. Many of our guys struggle with processing information. They are so focused on processing the first step that the rest of what we said is completely lost in translation.

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It’s important to target this skill in direct instruction before expecting your student to comply with these types of requests in the natural environment. You need to start small and slowly build up in a structured way.

Tips for Teaching Multi-Step Commands:

  • Make sure one step commands are mastered. Does your student have a wide range of simple one step commands that are mastered? Can those skills generalize into the natural environment? If you ask your student out of context to stand up – do they do it? You don’t want to build your receptive language castle on a faulty foundation. Ensure that these are mastered first before moving on to more complex skills.
  • Combine mastered one step commands to begin teaching two step commands. Work on this in isolation during direct instruction time. Provide high powered reinforcers for correct responses. Provide error correction for incorrect responding.
  • Prompt appropriately. Don’t over prompt and get students reliant on your prompting. Errorless learning is a great approach to take here. Model and physically prompt for the student the correct response and slowly fade off so they are responding independently.
  • Use visuals. Visuals are a great way to show what to do without over prompting. Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 10.17.24 AM
  • Take consistent data. Data is key here! You need to see how your student is progressing on this skill. Data sheets and program guides for one-step and two-step commands are included in our Discrete Trial Goal Sheets and Data Forms Set 2.

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4 Comments

  1. I purchased the TpT pack that your link “Discrete Trial Data Set 2” took me to, but the form that I was looking for, “Follow two step commands” is not in the pack of data sheets that I purchased. Is this available somewhere else?

    Reply
  2. Hi Terry! It’s on page 13-15 of Set 2. When I just downloaded it from TpT, it was in there. Let me know if you can’t find it still!

    Reply
  3. I have the same problem. Just found this site. Really need the Follow two-step command but its not there. I did a search. I went through each page, but not there. Please advice.

    I purchased the TpT pack that your link “Discrete Trial Data Set 2” took me to, but the form that I was looking for, “Follow two-step commands” is not in the pack of data sheets that I purchased.
    Is this available somewhere else?

    Reply
    • Ceanlia, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I corrected the link to the accurate product in the blog post. If you send your order number or receipt to sadie@theautismhelper.com, she can send you the document you’re looking for.

      Reply

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