Following Directions


  • Make the verbal directions short and easily understood. Patiently repeat the commands as many times as necessary. Do not clutter the request with a lot of “extra” words.
  • Build from simple sentence requests with one part to compound sentence requests with two, three, and then four part directions as your child gains in ability. Necessity for repeating commands should have greatly decreased at this stage.
  • Have your child repeat the direction before carrying it out.
  • Play such games as “Simon Says…” and “May I…”
  • Make up games where your child is required to follow a sequence of verbal directions. Example: “Hop to the door, turn out the light, turn around twice, and then skip back to me.”
  • Play a game of being quiet and relaxed with child’s eyes shut. Your child’s voice and body should be so quiet that not a sound is made. Five seconds may be as long as your child can be still, but with practice, he should be able to build the time. When your child can maintain reasonable quiet for thirty seconds or more, whisper a child’s name and have him repeat it. Later, have him carry out simple commands in the same whispered voice. Change your position to various distances in the room.