Task Analysis in a Therapeutic Preschool Program

Task analysis is an effective way to help young children build important developmental skills, as this method breaks multi-step tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This strategy is widely used in applied behavior analysis (ABA) for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Task analysis can be used for a variety of different skills and can be customized for unique abilities and learning styles. A therapeutic preschool program may also use the strategy of task analysis, since many of the children in the program experience challenges in meeting developmental milestones.

Every child is a unique learner. Complex tasks with multiple steps can be difficult for some kids. Sometimes it is difficult to process multiple steps of a task at one time.

Here is an example of how a therapeutic preschool program might use task analysis to teach a child to wash their hands:

Step 1: Turn the handle of the sink to get the water running

Step 2: Turn the handle to the left for warm water (not too hot)

Step 3: Run your hands under the water for a few seconds

Step 4: Remove your hands from the water

Step 5: Hold one hand below the soap dispenser

Step 6: With the other hand, press down on the soap

Step 7: Rub your hands together

Step 8: Start to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, either in your head or aloud

Step 9: When you finish the song, stop rubbing your hands

Step 10: Move your hands under the warm water until all of the soap is gone

Step 11: Use a paper towel to dry your hands

Step 12: Before throwing out the paper towel, use the paper to turn off the faucet

Step 13: Place your paper towel in the trash can

Task analysis can be used for a variety of other tasks that are important for children in a therapeutic preschool program. Some children may also benefit from their teacher, therapist, or parent using visual supports to illustrate task analysis for a particular skill. For instance, a teacher might use a communication board with step-by-step cards to illustrate each step included in a particular task. The ABA therapist or teacher in a therapeutic preschool program can also share the task analysis strategy with parents, in order to use this method consistently in both the school and home setting. For young children who are still building key developmental skills, this technique can be helpful.

Do you think task analysis or a therapeutic preschool program could be a fit for your child?
Contact CST Academy by clicking the purple button below or calling 773-620-7800 to learn about the range of services we provide children in Chicago, including ABA therapy, feeding therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology.