Know more about Backward Chaining for Special Needs Kids

Know more about Backward Chaining for Special Needs Kids

14 September 2018 Admin General Media

When it comes to special needs kids, backward chaining refers to breaking down the steps of a task and teaching them in reverse order. It helps in giving the child a sense of confidence after successful completion of their task. Here, the adult does all but the last step of a task and lets the child complete the work. Gradually, the adult fades back doing less and less, while the child does more and more, always ending with the child completing the final step.

Here are some backward chaining tasks to do with special needs kids:

Making a Bed

When you’re teaching your child to make a bed, break down the steps as follows:

  1. Remove the pillow
  2. Pull up the top sheet
  3. Tuck in the top sheet
  4. Pull up the comforter
  5. Put the pillow back in place

When you’re starting, consider doing steps 1 to 4, allowing the child to put the pillow in place at the end. When your child if comfortable with the step, parents can do step 1 to 3 and let the child do the remaining steps. Keep increasing the number of steps done by the child when they start finishing each task successfully.


Typing Shoes

Here are some sample steps to teach your child how to tie their shoes:

  1. Tie a knot.
  2. Pull the knot tight.
  3. Form the left-hand lace into a loop.
  4. Form the right-hand lace into a loop.
  5. Tie a knot with the two loops.
  6. Pull the knot tight.

The parent should start by tying the shoes but allowing the child to pull the knot tight at the end. They should keep demonstrating the steps of shoe-tying several times, slowly, describing the procedure. In due time, parents can stop doing a few steps, allowing the child to complete the ending steps instead of having to start with an untied show.

Zipping Zippers

Getting a zipper started may be tricky for kids with special needs. However, zipping it up once it’s on track is super-simple. Divide the job into these steps:

  1. Thread the bottom piece into the zipper piece.
  2. Slowly start zipping to ensure the zipper is on track.
  3. Pull the zipper the rest of the way up.

You can also give your child the job of triumphantly taking the zipper to the top, long before they have the ability to put the two parts of zipper together.

Similarly, you can try several methods by breaking down simple, daily tasks and helping your special needs child learn it slowly over time.