Everyday Support Strategies

By integrating a range of 'generalist' support strategies into everyday teaching practices, tertiary educators can create an optimal learning environment not only for students with 'invisible' learning difficulties but for all their students.

General strategies to support students with 'invisible' learning difficulties—and everyone else!

Click the boxes below for proactive behaviour management suggestions.

1. Verbal communication

  • Use clear & unambiguous language. Literal interpretation of language is common in individuals with ASD. A student may literally 'hop to it' if asked, or ask 'what horses?' if they’ve been asked to hold them.
  • Don't rely on the use of non-verbals (e.g. facial expressions and body gestures). Students with ASD often have difficulty with non-verbals; gestures like a frown of warning may have little or no impact on a student with ASD.
  • Accompany verbal instructions with written instructions. Delivery of instructions in multiple formats caters to different learning styles and decreases the chance of misunderstandings.
  • Check for understanding of any instructions given.

Quick tips

These strategies DO NOT require:

  • Targeted delivery (good for one is indeed good for all)
  • Specialist knowledge of disabilities
  • Knowledge of a student's diagnosis or specific difficulties
  • Additional teaching time

More information

For more information on how tertiary staff can support students on the spectrum, head to the LaTrobe University page on supporting students with Autism.

Learn more

Simple strategies for supporting tertiary students - including those on the Autism Spectrum.