# Helping the autistic pupil to understand word problems.

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by decj, Oct 5, 2015.

1. ### decjNew commenter

Hello,
I would be very grateful if anyone has some tips they could share, please.
I am working with a pupil in Year 10 who has autism. He is learning methods and operations relatively well, but he finds it very hard to know which operation to apply when faced with solving word problems. His parents and I agree that this is probably because he finds it hard to imagine scenarios and use this as a basis to determine the operation required. We have done a good deal of practical work using a variety of resources and this certainly helps, but without these, he struggles. Now he is working towards his GCSE, he cannot ultimately be reliant upon visual aids to help him and that's where I'm coming unstuck. Does anyone have any ideas please?
Thank you so much.

2. ### languageisheartosayOccasional commenter

Although the lad I designed these books for was younger, he had very similar problems. https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/word-sum-workbook-1-add-and-subtract-only-6110070 is one of the illustrated books and there are others. What really helped him and a boy in top primary who was very bright but with delayed language skills was a resource that I found on TES but has vanished I think. Essentially there was an outline in the shape of each of the signs for addition/subtraction/multiplication/division and within the outline were all the phrases that could be spotted in word sums that gave a major clue (each one in a different font). E.g. 'how many' and 'how many altogether' appeared in plus and multiply but 'how many more' and 'how many more...than' appeared in minus. The common phrases which feature words split by other words are the worst, as well as long sentences that contain operations that need to be done in order (but the order isn't always reflected in the word order!) The TAs who helped these boys spent a little time regularly just reading word sums and spotting the phrases and saying what sort of sum it might well be. Using Cuisenaire rods was also a great help and the Maths site about them has good ideas. My number resources are here: http://languageisheartosay.com/resources/number-and-counting/ but they were designed for youngsters in Primary school.

3. ### decjNew commenter

Thank you so much. I will look into these.
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