Working with Patterns

The objective of patterns is for your child to be independently able to copy and continue numerous patterns.

You start patterns with your child copying your pattern, once your child masters that you move on to your child following/continuing a pattern.

Copying a pattern

What to do in this exercise

[list_with_icons icon=”rounded”]

  1. Sit on the floor at or at the table with your child.
  2. Engage your child by saying his name and or touching his arm.
  3. Take a set of identical matching objects and put them on the table..
  4. After you have your child’s attention say “(Child’s name) let’s make a pattern, do this (start making a simple AABBAA pattern and have your child copy it).
  5. Perfect outcome: your child copies your pattern. Praise!
  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) let’s make a pattern, do this (start making a simple AABBAA pattern)”, then prompt your child to copy the pattern.
  8. After that engage your child again and repeat. If your child copies the pattern 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.

Start with a simple AABBAA pattern, then move on to ABCABC, once your child has mastered copying patterns move on to having your child extent the pattern.

Extending a pattern.

Follow the first three steps from above

  1. After you have your child’s attention, start a simple pattern like AABBA_ and put it on the table in front of your child, point to the pattern and say “(Child’s name) (point to the gap at the end) what comes next?”
  2. Perfect outcome: your child fills in the missing part. Praise!
  3. Not so perfect outcome: your child just sits there

Follow the last three steps from above

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 “Patterns” program. If you have any further questions or concerns please join our support desk.

Items you need:

Blocks, colored beads, m&ms, skittles, anything you can make a pattern with.


Autism Support Now offers ABA Therapy in Kansas City and throughout Southeast Missouri. Founded as an ABA self help video site in 2013 (by 501c3, Ella's Hope for Autism) ASN began offering in home ABA services in December of 2016 in Kansas City. In June of 2018 Autism Support Now, LLC opened it's second location in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.