Beyond the B.A.S.I.C.S. Blog

Parent Tip of the Month: Darting

June 20, 2011

Does your child dart away in a parking lot or keep running even when you shout “Stop!”? This is very common in all children but neurotypical children usually outgrow the behavior. Children with Autism usually need to be taught to stay with an adult and to stop. Here are some fun ways to work on this skill:

Staying with Adult– Play the “Walk with Me Game”. Have your child stand hip to hip and say “Walk with me”. He is winning when he stays right by your side. You can be silly and walk sideways or make noises like a back-up beeping. Basically, you are pairing walking with you as a fun thing. You are also getting it to become a habit.

Stopping- Tell him you are going to tell him to run and he wins or gets a prize if he freezes when you say”stop”. Start off saying “stop” at arms distance so you can grab him if he doesn’t stop. This can be combined with dancing games where you “freeze”. I would use the word “stop” each time though so that he gets the muscle memory for stopping when he hears that word. Try it with your child further and further way and then in different environments.

Let me know how this works for you!

Saundra Bishop, BCBA


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