Autism Resources

Teaching Skills: Properly Disposing of Trash Items When Told

Joshua Sleeper March 18, 2015

Trumpet Behavioral Health offers help with planning skills activities for use by parents, caregivers, grandparents, teachers and paraprofessionals. Trumpet Behavioral Health is the creator of Insights to Behavior, a web-based solution created for schools to help train educators work with children with autism or other disorders that cause challenging behaviors.

We are now offering a monthly sampling of the skills activities that you can use to help you teach your child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder the proper steps for disposing of trash.

March 15′ Featured Activity: Trash Can Race

Objective: Properly disposing of trash items when told
Developmental Area: Independence
Method: All
Category: Games
Curriculum Level: Basic
Setting: Adult-Child

Activity Procedure

  1. Set up a trash can race to play with the child. This will give him/her an opportunity to get used to throwing things out in the garbage can.
  2. Scatter various pieces of trash (e.g., wrappers, crumpled paper) on the floor and set a trash can in the middle of the room. Set a timer for two minutes, or whatever amount of time would be appropriate based on the child’s attention span.
  3. Using short phrases, tell the child, ‘It’s a trash can race. Let’s throw away as much as we can. Go!’
  4. Immediately pick up a piece of the trash. Run it over to the trash can to throw it out. Give the child an expectant look so he/she follows your lead. If necessary, physically prompt him/her to pick up pieces of garbage and throw them out.
  5. Try to make the race exciting for the child. Use an exaggerated tone to generate interest.
  6. As soon as the timer goes off, praise the child for how much garbage he/she threw out. Provide additional reinforcement (e.g., victory dance, tickles).

If this is a skills area that you have been wanting to work on with your child, we hope you will benefit from this activity. Watch for more of these activities each month from Trumpet Behavioral Health. And if you have a request for activities for specific skills you’ve been wanting to work on with your child, please let us know via our suggestions form >> click here

CLICK HERE to learn more about Insights to Behavior.

The above recommended activity is not a replacement for behavioral therapy from a qualified Board Certified Behavior Analyst or trained therapist. It is only provided as a recommended activity for you to use in working with your child.
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