Block Imitation

Block Imitation

The objective of block imitation is for your child to be able to independently follow you building a block structure.

Block imitation starts with 2 blocks 1 motion, and goes up to 13 blocks, 12 motions. Always use a base block, meaning that block always stays in the same location and won’t be moved. All the other blocks can be moved around the base block. Make sure you don’t always stack the blocks; put them on the side(s), in the front or in the back of the base block as well. Block imitation is a great way to build your child’s attention span and following along.

What to do

  1. Sit on the floor at or at the table with your child.
  2. Engage your child by saying your child’s name and or touching child’s arm.
  3. Make sure both you and your child have the same set of blocks in front of you. Designate one block as the “base” block and put the other block(s) next to your child/yourself.
  4. After you have your child’s attention say “(Child’s name) do this (put second block on top of the “base” block).
  5. Perfect outcome: your child puts the second block on the “base” block. Reinforce!
  6. Not so perfect outcome: your child just sits there.
  7. What to do: reengage your child by saying his/her name and or touching his/her arm and repeat the instruction “(Child’s name) do this (put second block on top of the “base” block)” then prompt your child to draw the line.
  8. After that engage your child again and repeat. If your child makes the hand motion for “spider”, great, reinforce. If not repeat the steps from above. Repeat it three times and if your child still is not getting it move on to a different task and come back to it later. Also once your child gets the prompted instruction right, redirect your child to a simple task he/she has mastered and then go back to the original instruction to make sure your child got it.

It might take your child a while, a couple days maybe even a couple weeks, to grasp the concept of what is asked of him/her. Don’t get frustrated and stick with the program. Your child will get there! Reinforce (Praise) a right response or even if your child is trying really hard. In the video you will see a demonstration of how to run “Block imitation” program.

Items you need:

a set of 13 matching blocks, preferably building blocks in different colors and sizes.

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Autism Support Now is a Parent advisory blog and media site presented by "Ella's Hope for Autism" a 501c3 public charity in Missouri. This site is built for parents dealing with Autism . . . by parents dealing with Autism. Hope and Sam McPheeters (founders of Ella's Hope) have two children on the spectrum, and strive to provide continued advice for other parents, who are dealing with the same issues..