Crossing the Road

When teaching independence skills, it is important to explain personal safety skills to the individual, which are necessary in the community.

The individual will need to understand how to find their way around either on foot or using public transport and who to approach for help if they are unsure.

Young children may have opportunities to practice crossing the road when going to school or when out with family. This is a crucial skill to learn for any child or young person but may present additional challenges for those with autism (sensory processing difficulties regarding noise and light).

Strategies which can be used when teaching about road safety:

Written instructions for crossing the road at traffic lights, should be broken down into clear, concise steps.  For example:

  1. Stop at the curb
  2. Press the button for the traffic lights
  3. Look at the traffic lights
  4. When the Green man is lit it is safe to cross the road
  5. Walk safely across the street (e.g., this means walking not running, perhaps holding your hand)

Adapted from: Tips on teaching safety skills to children with autism

A research study has been carried out using a Virtual Environment to help students learn about crossing the road. For further reading click here.