Cause & Effect Activities for Students with Autism

Instructor: Lori Sturdivant

Lori has a specialist's degree in Instructional Leadership/Mild Moderate and currently serves as the Lead Teacher for The University of Southern Mississippi's Autism Project.

This lesson will provide you with fun, engaging, and easy to implement activities that teach students with autism about cause and effect. Included are strategies and activities for Pre-K through high school.

What Would You Do?

Consider these scenarios:

  • Johnny gets mad at lunch and throws his tray on the floor, and then he cries because he is hungry.
  • Janie refuses to complete her math worksheet during math class, and gets upset when she misses recess time to complete it.
  • Jimmy does not turn in his homework, but doesn't understand why he doesn't get a gold star like the other students.

You need cause and effect strategies to help students understand that each action has a reaction! Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often need very direct and explicit instruction as they do not understand abstract ideas. While cause and effect may seem like a concrete concept, it may be difficult for our students with ASD to understand how one thing can affect another.

What is Cause and Effect and Why is it Important?

A cause is why an event happens. An effect is an event that happens because of a cause. If we can get our students to understand the consequences of their behaviors, we can get them to modify their behaviors. Helping our students get better outcomes will allow them to live happier, healthier, and safer lives.

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