The ground has the words WAIT HERE painted in yellow, and a child's shoes are touching the bottom of the words. This indicates someone is using how to teach patience to get the child to wait.

Teaching Your Child to Wait | Learning How to Teach Patience


At Blue Parachute, our video library contains valuable resources and support, not only for individuals on the autism spectrum but also for teachers, parents, and communities. One crucial skill that greatly benefits children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is patience. However, learning how to teach patience can be challenging. More importantly, how do you teach an autistic child to wait?

Teaching a child to wait and develop patience is essential for their daily life and social interactions. This blog will explore effective strategies and activities to teach waiting skills and enhance impulse control in children with ASD.

Why Are Waiting Skills Important for Autism?

Children with ASD may face difficulties understanding the concept of time, often leading to impulsive behaviors and frustration. They also might struggle when it comes to controlling impulses.

Teaching waiting skills is essential because it helps them:

How Do You Teach a Child to Wait?

Now that you understand why waiting skills are important, finding ways to teach your child to wait is crucial. Teaching a child to wait requires patience, understanding, and structured interventions. Though, at times, the process may seem arduous, it will be worth it in the long run.

Here are some effective strategies and activities to teach waiting:

Breathing Exercises

Teach calming techniques like deep breathing to help children manage their impulses and anxiety while waiting.

Counting Together

Encourage counting or using a visual countdown to make waiting more interactive. In addition to helping children learn to wait, this can also help them better understand the concept of time.

Reinforcement and Rewards

Positive reinforcement is a valuable tool when teaching patience. Reward your child when they exhibit patience or successfully wait for something. This can include verbal praise, small rewards, or additional time for a preferred activity.


Engage in role-playing activities where you and your child take on different roles and practice waiting. Role-playing allows them to experience waiting in a controlled, supportive environment, helping them develop the necessary skills.

Social Stories

Social stories are narrative-based interventions that help children with autism understand social situations and appropriate behavior. Create social stories focusing on waiting and provide examples of when and why waiting is necessary. These stories can include visual elements to enhance comprehension.

Taking Turns

Engaging in activities that require turn-taking, such as board games or group activities, helps children practice waiting for their turn.

Visual Schedules

Visual schedules can be adapted to include waiting periods. By incorporating waiting into their daily routines, you can help children understand that waiting is a part of their daily activities. For example, you can include a waiting icon on their schedule before a preferred activity.

Visual Timers

Visual timers provide a tangible representation of time passing. Children with ASD often benefit from visual cues. You can use timers with clear visual indicators to help them understand how long they must wait. For example, if you’re preparing them for a transition, you can set a visual timer to show the remaining time.

Waiting Games

Play games that involve waiting, like “Red Light, Green Light,” or “Simon Says.” These games make waiting enjoyable while also reinforcing the concept.

Teaching Patience at Blue Parachute

At Blue Parachute, we understand the unique needs of individuals with ASD. Our collection of instructional videos, created by Licensed and Certified Behavior Therapists, incorporate Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques. These videos help support children and adults with ASD in various aspects of their development, including patience and impulse control.

Now that you have more information regarding how to teach patience, visit our library to find this and additional helpful videos. In it are tools to teach many important skills, including life skills, learning skills, communication skills, preparing for adulthood, and more.

Explore our website and video resources, then find a subscription plan that suits your needs. If you still have questions, we have answers. You can view our frequently asked questions page, or contact us at

Remember that with the right support and proper strategies, children and adults with ASD can develop crucial waiting skills, enhancing their daily lives and interactions.


Related Readings:

Blue Parachute – Who We Help

Blue Parachute – How We Help


Autism Speaks – Autism and Teaching Patience

American Psychiatric Association – What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Parenting Magazine – What Does Impulse Control Disorder and Autism Look Like?