Thursday, April 4, 2013

Metacognition Development in Persons with Autism

As an Executive Function Skills Coach who works with individuals with Learning Disabilities, Executive Function skill deficits, or with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I am constantly on the lookout on refining and adding to my metacognitive tool chest. These are tools which can help facilitate shifts in attitude, mindset, and/ or perspective.  To illustrate this point, consider a cruise ship. It is exceedingly long, tall, and wide, and yet, a large ship is moved by a small rudder.

It is with this instructional outcome perspective that I employ metacognitive tools, and strategies, in order to foster 'thinking about thinking skills.' Five tremendously effective ways to build metacognition are:

  1. Role-Playing using 'thinking side/ reacting side' versions to the same situation
  2. Creating visual story books whereby pertinent scenarios are played out using 'thinking side/ reacting side' versions.
  3. Walking/ Sitting with the child/ adult and having a dialogue about how to improve response/ action on relevant situations in daily life.
  4. Playing chess 
  5. For kids and adolescents: Using special parent coach cards from
    1. These cards provide cartoon picture situations on one side, with a message on back. I customize what I say, given the child's situation. 
      1. Coach Bill does not profit from this.
Below is a research article showcasing the need to develop metcognition in person with ASD.

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