Questions to Ask PRIOR to the Intake Appointment

By Karen Steffan

The typical protocol for meeting with a new customer for an informational intake will most likely not meet the needs of the person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). You will want to know a couple of things about the person PRIOR to the meeting so that you can set up the meeting in a way that will accommodate their needs and capitalize on their strengths. 

The end result is that the person is able to concentrate on giving information that you need with much less anxiety or distractibility.

Remember that predictability is an element of planning that most people with ASD appreciate. You will need to tell the individual with ASD what to expect at the meeting. The questions you will want to ask are:

1) What is the best style of communication or what is the best way to communicate with you? 

2) Do you prefer to have information in a visual style, auditory, PES, social stories, etc?

3) What sensory needs do you have or prefer? Are you sensitive to smells, lighting, noise, textures, heat or cold?

If you are working with someone who may need support answering questions, you will need to identify the person who is translating in order to get these questions answered.