I’ve been consulting with children and a few adults with autism for seven years now and I had a revelation about two years ago soon after I published my book. I now believe that there are three main skills every child and adult with autism needs to be successful. These skills, I believe, are the most important skills regardless of the person’s age or level of functioning.
The Big Three are:
1) Problem behaviors at or near 0
2) The ability to request wants and needs
3) Independent toileting
Whether your child is 5, 15, or 50 years of age, I think without these three skills, he or she will have little opportunity for inclusion at school or in the community. In addition, without these three skills, parents often cannot access babysitters, respite providers, schools, or work opportunities for their children. They also have a difficult time taking their children to pools, restaurants, on planes and even to visit friends or relatives.
If you or other people are working on different skills (double digit math or reading for instance) but your child has not mastered “The Big Three,” think about suggesting some additions and/or changes to your child’s program.
For more information, watch this 2 minute video below, and read my book (The Verbal Behavior Approach) specifically chapter 2 (reducing problem behaviors); chapter 4-6 (pairing and manding) and chapter 11 (toilet training).