Difficulty with abstract ideas/concrete thinkers


  1. Provide clear specific directions ie: “Please make 10 copies of the calendar for me and place them in the folder marked Calendar.”
  2. Be mindful of providing only the amount of directions that the student can handle at a time. Refer to the Student’s Profile Sheet for helpful strategies.
  3. It can be very beneficial to provide step by step directions verbally and in writing. This may be done in several ways such as drawings, signs, maps and color coding are just a few.
  4. Post written or graphic instructions in areas where the student can refer to them.
  5. Check lists can be very helpful for the student. Create a daily routine of tasks with specific times for doing those tasks. This facilitates independence and self-monitoring.
  6. Ask the student to repeat directions back to you to insure that they understand.
  7. Have the student demonstrate the task while you watch and encourage him/her to ask questions.
  8. Most of our students do well with tasks that are done routinely. Try to provide opportunities for repetition and review of instructions.
  9. For projects that involve several steps, such as putting a packet of information together, provide the student with a finished sample that can be used as a model.
  10. It is important to provide ample time for the student to process information whether it is verbal or in writing.
  11. Information should be provided as clear and simple as possible. Using too many words or phrases may overwhelm the student. Also be aware of the rate of speed in which you are speaking. Speaking too fast may do the same.
  12. It is essential to become familiar with the student’s abilities. This can be through observation, periodic review of the Student’s Profile Sheet and speaking to the Internship Coordinator. Task Expectation should be REALISTIC for the student to be successful.
  13.  Explain to the student how their contribution benefits the department and company. Often, it is difficult for our student’s to understand their role in the larger process
  14. Explain to the student what happens if the work they perform is not done accurately or if they don’t follow your instruction closely. Also include why it is important to complete the task and how this relates to the departments productivity.
  15. Maintain ongoing communication with the Internship Coordinator via the routine visits, e-mail and telephone calls to insure that questions or problems can be addressed as soon as they arise.

Last Modified: 3/20/18