Structured activities are a great way to teach students with autism because they are built in a way that corresponds to the way they learn. First, they are visual which is a strength for many with ASD. Second, they have a clear concept of finished - which reduces anxiety and increases attention. Third, they are flexible. The basic underlying structure of the activity remains the same, but there is room for variation so students do not memorize the activity, get bored, and they also learn flexibility.
This is an activity that was made in India when we trained there several years ago. To set up your own, you just need some beads, an envelope, some pipe cleaners, a few bins, and a box top to adhere everything to.
Use the PDF we have provided, or make your own bead strips and put them into the envelope. Students take one at a time and follow the sequence of beads and put them on the pipe cleaner. Make sure you twist the bottom of the pipe cleaner so they don't fall off, and that you have the right beads in the bin to complete the activity. After each one is finished the cards and beaded pipe cleaners are placed in the box to the right. When all the bead cards are gone the activity is finished!