How To Help Your Child Be Successful Following Multi-Step Directions - Horizon Academy

How To Help Your Child Be Successful Following Multi-Step Directions

Jul 24, 2023

How To Help Your Child Be Successful Following Multi-Step Directions

Have you ever prepared for a pitch or a presentation by writing down your talking points or even a script of what you planned to say, and practiced it repeatedly? When we speak on a topic, we generally want to make sure that our words are purposeful, concise, and to the point. Teachers have the same mentality when instructing our students! 

It is very common for students with dyslexia, other learning disabilities, and ADHD to struggle with completing multi-step directions. Their working memory is not strong enough to hold on to the slew of words presented to them. They typically complete the most-recent step they’ve heard, skipping everything beforehand.

The Power of Our Words: How much and which words?

Teachers at Horizon Academy are extremely thoughtful about how many words they’re asking their students to remember, and which words they’re using to relay their message. 

Whether introducing new routines or delivering instruction, the teachers here try to use the least amount of words to tell their students exactly what is expected of them.

Our teachers plan out the many steps of a routine or activity prior to teaching it to ensure they’re being as direct and clear as possible.

They will even model these steps for their students and have their students do the same before expecting independence. 

What you can do at home.

If you are nodding your head in agreement that your child struggles to complete multi-step directions at home, then check out the following helpful tips. 

  • If possible, condense each step into one or two words.
  • Ask your child to repeat the steps back to you to help them process the actions and the order they are expected to follow.
  • Ask “What is the first step you need to complete?”
  • Or ask “What are you going to do before X?” 
  • Ask children to visualize and/or act out the necessary steps they need to accomplish before beginning the task. 

Try them with your child and let us know how it goes!  

Horizon Academy empowers students diagnosed with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities to become effective learners and confident self-advocates. We are located in Roeland Park, KS, and are celebrating 25 years of success!