ASD Tip of the Month

Support Communication by Using "What to do Words"


Interpreting abstract ideas and concepts is frequently difficult for individuals with ASD. One way to help them is to restructure abstract ideas by adding concrete information. For example, instead of asking 'how do you feel?', you could say “You look happy. You have a big smile on your face. Tell me what makes you happy today?” Modeling directives, sometimes referred to as “what to do words”, provides concrete information on how to engage in social communication.

To learn more about how to use concrete “what to do” language, visit the OCALI website OCALI lending library and read the book Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant