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Now Next

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Stephen Says:
Some children, including many who are on the autistic spectrum, find it really difficult to follow adult requests; particularly if it conflicts with their own agenda. Adults begin by engaging with the child's play and interests in order to establish cooperation or at least tolerance of the adult. Gradually, adults then slowly encourage the child to recognise that they are expected to complete adult-directed tasks. Visual resources such as Now Next boards can be really effective in supporting this transition from child agenda to adult agenda.
Always introduce the Now Next by having two activities of the child's choice. It is important that they have control initially. Work for at least a week with the child choosing both now and next activities. At this stage the important learning point is that the child accepts and refers to the Now Next board. When child (and adults) are consistently using it begin to put an adult directed Now. Again begin with activities that you know the child will enjoy or is more tolerant of. Keep the adult directed task very short at first. This could be less than a minute for some children. You will need to establish this pattern consistently over at least a week assessing how well the child is adapting to their loss of control. When you feel the child is ready, begin to introduce Now activities that the child is less motivated to do. If this is successful begin to link the Now and Next to a visual timetable.
The Now Next works really well as long as you use them consistenly and persistently. I have observed staff struggling to get compliance from a child while a Now Next board lies on the table unused. Once you remind staff to use the Now Next consistently there is generally an improvement in cooperation again. However, if you do use them consistently over time and are unable to make any progress or the child becomes aggressive you may want to look at PDA and the strategies that go with that condition.


Al the Alien Now Next Board

Al the Alien Now Next Board

Let Al the Alien encourage the child to complete the Now Next. Write or put a picture or symbol of the task that they need to do first (Now) before they can do an alternative or reward activity (Next).


Batman Now Next

Batman Now Next

Maybe Batman can encourage the child to complete the Now Next. Write or put a picture or symbol of the task that they need to do first (Now) before they can do an alternative or reward activity (Next).


Beeble Now Next Board

Beeble Now Next Board

A simple now next board with Beeble characters to encourage the child. Write or put a picture or symbol of the task that they need to do first (Now) before they can do an alternative or reward activity (Next).


Circle Now Next Board

Circle Now Next Board

Use this visual task board to support children who struggle to follow adult direction. Write or put a picture or symbol of the task that they need to do first (Now) before they can do an alternative or reward activity (Next).



Helix Now Next - Blue

Train Now Next

Let Helix encourage the child to complete the Now Next. Write or put a picture or symbol of the task that they need to do first (Now) before they can do an alternative or reward activity (Next).


Helix Now Next - Green

Train Now Next

Let Helix encourage the child to complete the Now Next. Write or put a picture or symbol of the task that they need to do first (Now) before they can do an alternative or reward activity (Next).


Helix Now Next - Pink

Train Now Next

Let Helix encourage the child to complete the Now Next. Write or put a picture or symbol of the task that they need to do first (Now) before they can do an alternative or reward activity (Next).


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