SLP Best Practices for Encouraging Special Interests in Children with Autism

What Helps

  • Encouraging conversation about interests.
  • Paying attention to nonverbal cues.
  • Engaging in activity about interests.
  • Allowing children to keep objects related to interests.
  • Taking note of circumstances that promote calmness.
  • Using interests as motivation for desired behaviors.

What Hurts

  • Treating interests like they are boring.
  • Ignoring nonverbal cues or gestures.
  • Disengaging from conversations.
  • Forcing a discussion unrelated to interests.
  • Demanding that children think about other subjects.
  • Leveraging interests as punishment.