Barking Up the Wrong Tree
This free autism resource is another idiom explainer (like this one). Idioms are great because they involve universal truths and words of wisdom. They can often be too abstract for individuals with autism to understand due to their literal thinking, but this visual will help make the idiom more concrete.

Idioms are a great tool for teaching. First, many individuals with ASD have difficulty understanding idioms due to the abstract language. This Idiom Explainer sheet will help clarify a common idiom. Second, idioms have been used for generations to help amplify messages and deal with situations.

Barking up the wrong tree - a great idiom for individuals with autism who may be struggling with problem solving. Sometimes individuals on the spectrum can get stuck trying the same strategy over and over even though it is not working.

To use this visual with a student who is struggling finding strategies to solve a problem, first read the definition with your student, then go over the example. Next, write in the the current strategy the student is using unsuccessfully. Finally, brainstorm other “trees to bark up” with your student and write them in. The next time the situation comes up, review the sheet and encourage your student to try a different strategy.

Social Guides