Overall Objective

The objective for waiting is for your child to be able to wait for a scheduled event, your child’s turn, and or in line. Use waiting for a desired toy as an example.

Instructions for Lesson

  1. Sit at the table with your child.
  2. Get your child’s attention by saying your child’s name and or touching her arm.
  3. Once you get your child’s attention put a desirable toy in front of your child and say “Wait”. Gently block your child if your child is trying to reach for the item. Then count down from 3 and grant your child access to the toy.
  4. Perfect outcome: your child sits there and waits for you to tell him/her to take the item. You count down from 5 and then hand the toy to your child. You say “nice job waiting for your toy”. Always praise your child for the correct response.

Not so perfect outcome: your child reaches for the toy and gets a hold of it.

  • If you experience a negative outcome, engage your child, take the toy away from your child, put it in front of your child but this time out of reach. Say again “Wait” Gently block your child if your child reaches for the toy and say again “wait”. Count down from 3 and give the toy to your child. Praise for waiting.

Increase Time as You Go

After your child can wait for 3 seconds increase the time to 5 seconds, then 10 seconds, then 15 seconds using 5 second increments until you get to a minute. You can apply this technique to waiting your turn, waiting in line, waiting while reading a book, and or waiting at circle time. Always start with a view seconds and work your way up to about a minute.

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..