Teaching children with autism can be difficult at times. Autism affects how a child processes information. Repetition is often the best way for children with autism to learn something new. Teaching materials specially designed for children with autism can be prohibitively expensive. Printables, online items that can be printed for free, can be used to create folder games, PECS cards and picture schedules for children with autism. Explore various ways to use printables in your daily lessons.

Use printables to create folder games. Folder games help easily illustrate key concepts for children with autism. Folder games are usually comprised of a variety of images which a child can match or manipulate to achieve a goal. For example, to teach a child with autism about animals and their habitats using printables you would search online for clip art of various animals and pictures of various habitats that those animals would reside in. A picture of a frog would match with a picture of a pond. Print out and cut apart all the images. Glue the images of the habitats to the inside of a manila folder. Have the child match the images of the animals to the correct habitats. Use clear laminate, contact paper or packing tape to protect the images.

Use prinables to create PECS cards. PECS, or Picture Exchange Communication System, cards are pictures used to convey information. A child who cannot verbalize his needs can use a picture to communicate with others. PECS cards can be found online and printed out for use with the child. PictureSET and MESEnglish are two excellent resources for printable PECs and PEC-style cards.

Use printables to create a picture schedule. Picture schedules help maintain order during a multi-step activity and help reduce anxiety for children with autism. Knowing what comes next in a sequence can help children with autism more easily transition from one aspect of an activity to the next. Print images that can be readily identified by the child and arrange them in order to create a picture schedule. Use a picture schedule to convey an entire day’s worth of activities or as a visual reminder to help the child complete a multi-step activity like using the bathroom. Do2Learn has many free printable picture schedules.

Use printables to improve coloring and writing skills. Many children with autism need extra practice when it comes to correct writing grip. Printable coloring pages can be found on almost any subject. Giving a child with autism coloring pages on subjects that interest them can help motivate her to practice coloring and writing skills.

Use printables to improve cutting and pasting skills. Many children with autism need extra practice when it comes to cutting with scissors and pasting. Cutting and pasting are important skills for all children and are a prerequisite for surpassing early education. By using printables focused on subjects that interest the child, the child will become more motivated to improve his cutting and pasting skills.


  • Not all printables are created equal. Avoid those that are heavily marked by advertisements or are unattractive. There are plenty of printables available to meet your needs without sacrificing quality.


  • Printables can also be used to create crafts, games, and other activities for children with autism.