A child struggling with a task presented to him,

Asking Your Child to Complete a Difficult Task: Autism & Stress

Having an autistic child that can pay attention is an essential skill, especially during the learning process. When asking your child to complete a difficult task, you will want your child to be paying attention and focused. A huge part of getting your child on the autism spectrum to pay attention entails them being aware of what they need to pay attention to. That allows the child to sort out the necessary information separate from their surroundings as they organize their thoughts. 

Attention problems in autism are common and take a lot of patience, especially at the beginning. Placing yourself as a reinforcer for your child can help get them to cooperate and pay attention when asked to complete a difficult task. 

Whether you are a parent or teacher, or you represent one of many locations without resources, at Blue Parachute, we can help. Below we share our insights on autism and stress management as well as getting your child on the spectrum to pay attention.

How to Increase Attention Span in Autism 

Many children find the task of paying attention to be a difficult one. Some autistic children will find it hard to pay attention and focus on things that don’t interest them, while others may be able to pay attention for a prolonged period if they are doing something they enjoy or that they deem to be fun. 

Children on the spectrum can learn to pay attention and develop this skill set as they get older and practice. If your child has attention problems in autism, here are some strategies that can help them pay attention and stay focused: 

  • Choosing an activity they enjoy and clearly defining the behavior you’re requesting from them.
  • Providing the child on the spectrum with clear instructions.
  • Find ways to talk and play while completing the task so you keep their attention on performing the action. 
  • Model challenging tasks for your child and request that they mimic the action.
  • Prepare your child with transitions. Especially if they are completing a step-by-step process toward achieving an overall goal.

Autism Attention Activities  

There is a wide range of autism attention activities to help keep your child engaged. Find what works for your child on the spectrum and use things they enjoy to help them complete challenging tasks. Children with ASD often find paying attention to be a strenuous skill set to adopt, as they may not know how to block out other sensory information while focusing on a single task. Here are some autism attention activities that can help your child develop an attention span through fun activities

  • Finger painting: Finger painting is a great way to get your child to concentrate on a specific activity. 
  • Walking an animal: Animal walking offers a game-like exercise that can help grasp their attention span. Using an activity such as the shape concept board, you request that the child select the correct shape out of two and place it on the concept board some distance away. Once they have correctly chosen the corresponding shape, they will ‘animal walk’ to the shape concept board and post it. 
  • Mirror play: Mirror play is a fun way to get your child to practice reenacting certain behaviors. Having your child on the spectrum perform similar actions after you can help increase their attention span and slowly work their way up to carrying out the desired behavior. 
  • Sound activities: To help improve their sitting tolerance, use a sound-making activity with a drum set, xylophone, or piano.
  • Sorting and organization: Shape or color sorting can easily be converted into a prolonged exercise to help them complete a stressful task such as paying attention.

Autism and Stress Management 

It can be incredibly stressful for both the parent and the child with autism to complete a difficult task, especially without the right resources. This is one reason we strive to provide parents, guardians, and teachers of children on the spectrum with the skills they need to benefit their daily routines by reducing stress. This includes life skills, learning skills, communication skills, and more.

We have an array of videos available from Blue Parachute that serve as autism home support services. These videos were created by Licensed and Certified Behavior Therapists, and they are available with subscription pricing. This means you can pick a plan with as few or as many videos as you need in your situation.

On this website, you can learn more about who we help and how we helpClick here and sign up now to take full advantage of our library of high-quality, evidence-based resources to help individuals with ASD be set up for success and reach their full potential. Blue Parachute. Easy. Affordable. Life-Changing.


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