Case Study E (Road Safety)

E is an autistic 10 year old boy. He attends a primary 6 class at a mainstream primary school.

E expressed an interest in walking home from school independently, as most of his peers in class were doing so.   However, there were concerns regarding his safety when in the community due to limited road safety awareness.

Analysis of E’s skills in road safety took place using the Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS) to identify the areas in which E required direct teaching to increase his awareness and abilities in road safety.  This assessment took place during a community outing, where E’s abilities were assessed directly through observation.

Intervention took place focusing on areas of need identified in the assessment including: Staying close to others when walking, attending to drivers’ facial expressions and gestures, and looking both ways before crossing the road.

Direct teaching, role play, and video modelling were used to facilitate the learning of road safety skills.  E went for walks in the local community with staff and his parents.  Targets for each walk were discussed with E before leaving the house, for example: staying close to those he is with, and choosing a safe place to cross the road.  Direct teaching took place in the family home with the use of Road Safety worksheets (see references below).

The AFLS was repeated to assess the outcome of the intervention.  E had made significant improvements in his road safety skills and it was mutually agreed with his parents that he was ready to begin walking from school independently, using a graded programme. To support this, E was assisted to walk from his house to school and back, taking photographs of significant landmarks en route.  These were then printed and made into a book, which served as a visual map of his route home from school and allowed for discussion to take place with him about selecting a new landmark to walk to as the weeks progressed with the programme of intervention.