Sweet Directions: Attending to Multiple Cues (Autism, Special Ed)

Grade Levels
Resource Types
Product Rating
File Type
PDF (Acrobat) Document File
Be sure that you have an application to open this file type before downloading and/or purchasing.
14.57 MB   |   58 pages


Students with autism will love these interactive books teaching following directions with cookies. These 4 books, teaching program and data sheet are designed to help teach students with autism the critical receptive language skills of responding to multiple cues in reading and educational materials. The books are differentiated to work with early learners of the skills and increase complexity through the volumes as the student masters the skill. They can be used in 1-1 instruction through discrete trials or Pivotal Response Training or during group activities for interaction and generalization/practice.

Included Materials:
Volume / Book 1: Focuses on attending to 1 characteristic of materials (red cookie)
Volume / Book 1A: Is the same as book 1 but with added visual cues in the text (e.g., the word red is colored red)
Volume / Book 2: Focuses on attending to 2 characteristics of materials (red, round cookie)
Volume / Book 3: Focuses on a characteristic of the cookie (color and shape) as well as a characteristic (red or green) of the plate it is put on.
Teaching program and data sheet for tracking progress across the steps
Extension activities and differentiation suggestions
Cookie manipulatives

Responding to multiple cues is considered to be a pivotal skill for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and is part of the basis for Pivotal Response Training (PRT). Simply put, it means that the student can focus on more than one element of a item, interaction or task at a time. It is part of what makes up joint attention (being able to look at a speaker and to what the speaker is referencing), which is also considered to be a critical early learning skill for children with ASD.. Whether we teach it with PRT, discrete trials or any other teaching method, students on the spectrum benefit from explicit instruction in being able to attend to multiple stimuli simultaneously in order to begin to learn effectively from their environment more independently. For instance, if a student can’t reference more than 1 element in an academic environment, he can look at the teacher or look at his work, but he can’t focus on both. Similarly, if he is looking at materials, he can’t identify pictures or words with more than 1 relevant element. For example, he could find words that begin with P but not one that begins with P and ends with K.

Potential IEP Goal and Objectives:

GOAL:  Max will follow different types of directions with different types of materials requiring attention to at least 2 cues within the direction (e.g., put the green, round cookie on the plate or put the green cookie on the red plate) with 80% accuracy daily for one week in at least 2 settings during the school day by the end of the IEP period [insert date].

Objective 1:  
Max will follow a one-step direction that requires 1 discrimination between at least 4 similar items to complete it (e.g., put the green cookie on the plate) with 80% accuracy daily for 3 consecutive days by the end of the first quarter [insert date].

Objective 2:
Max will follow one-step directions that require attending to two cues of the material (e.g., put the red, round cookie on the plate) when given a field of at least 4 choices with 80% accuracy daily for 3 consecutive days by the end of the second quarter [insert date].

Objective 3:

Max will follow one-step directions that require attending to one differentiation among the material to be chosen and differentiating where to place it (e.g., put the red cookie on the green plate) with 80% accuracy daily for 3 consecutive days by the end of the third quarter [insert date].

More early learning activities and supports for students with ASD can be found in my store or through the following links:

Autism Basic Skills Matching Tasks Bundle

Thumbs Up: Token Boards for Behavior Management

Sharing with My Friends: A Social Narrative

Weather Kids: Reusable Activity for Dressing for the Weather

Music Visuals for Autism: Visual Schedule

For updates, notifications of new resources, freebies and sales, click the star at the top to follow me on TPT.

For more ideas for working with students with autism, check out my blog at Autism Classroom News.

Sweet Directions by Christine Reeve is copyrighted for single classroom use only. This product may not be resold and can be copied for personal use within a classroom only. If extra copies are needed throughout a school district, please email drchrisreeve@gmail.com for prices. © Christine Reeve 2013
Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Year

Average Ratings

Overall Quality:
80 ratings
Please log in to post a question.
Digital Download
User Rating: 4.0/4.0
Digital Download
Sweet Directions: Attending to Multiple Cues  (Autism, Spe
Sweet Directions: Attending to Multiple Cues  (Autism, Spe
Sweet Directions: Attending to Multiple Cues  (Autism, Spe
Sweet Directions: Attending to Multiple Cues  (Autism, Spe
Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials.

Learn More

Keep in Touch!

Sign up