Why is structure important?
Students with autism respond well to structure. It provides them with a safe and
predictable environment that increases their understanding and ability to succeed.
General guidelines for creating a structured environment:
1. The physical arrangement: you should have a seperate area for indepdent work, one on one, group work, quiet reading, play, etc.
2. Each area should have visual boundries that are free from distractions. Dividers are great for keeping students from getting distracted from what is going on in other areas.
3. VISUALS VISUALS VISUALS!
a. Visual daily schedules so that the students know what to expect for the day.
b. Visuals that label each area of the room (i.e. a visual to show the play area, the work area, the computer center, etc.)
c. Visual class rules (should be no more than 5, all stated positivly)
d. Visuals that show where everything goes (i.e. pictures that show where each toys goes in the play area, visuals for where to crayons go, etc.) This shows our students that everything has a place. Additionally, it helps teach them to independently clean up.
Examples of a structured classroom:
(click on a teacher's name to see what a structured classroom looks like.)
Additional Online Resources: