National and International Online Autism Consulting

Posted: 5/17/2013

Learning Style Profile for

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Rydell, 2012)

Dr. Patrick J. Rydell


National and International Online Autism Consulting


How would you or the people who work with your child answer these questions?

1. Does your child pay more attention to objects than people?
2. Does your child have difficulty learning the social-communication skills modeled by others?
3. Does your child receive social cues from only one person at a time?

4. Does your child interact with objects and/or people in a rigid/repetitive/inflexible manner?
5. Does your child form his/her own agenda and insist that others follow it?

6. Does your child respond to other people, but rarely initiate or maintain social interactions?
7. Does your child primarily use scripted or memorized verbal phrases for communication?

8. Does your child have difficulty focusing his/her attention to complete a task?
9. Does your child respond to others only when they are at a close distance?

10. Does your child resist transitions in activities, events, locations, and/or routines?

If your answer to one or more of these questions is “yes”, you might want to learn more about the learning style differences in children with autism spectrum disorders and the challenges these differences may present in the classroom, at therapy and in your home.

Learning Style Differences in ASD

In contrast to typical development, some children with ASD do not learn to interact with others in socially meaningful ways. Children with ASD can be object-oriented, operating from an “I see, I want, I get” mentality. Consequently, environmental and interpersonal cues often go unnoticed, thus affecting the children’s to make good social-communication decisions and judgments.
Learning style differences may severely limit some children’s ability to notice others in their environment and thus engage in, and learn from social interactions. These children subsequently experience difficulties in developing shared meanings, affect and emotions, eventually impacting the depth and meaning of their relationships with others.  Patterns or rigidity and controlled agenda issues may persist.
At least some children with ASD are unaware of the need to “look up and around” to seek interpersonal and environmental cues. This lack of awareness prevents them from gaining information about people and context so that independent decisions can be made as to how to initiate interactions with others, maintain these interactions, and respond to others in increasingly more appropriate and conventional ways.  These children may miss important cues and sequences of social, cognitive and language information offered by a partner.  In social settings such as classrooms, small groups or family gatherings, some children may be unaware of cues that help guide social exchanges and thus miss “what we are doing”.   Thus, adult or social partners may feel obliged to direct the child’s actions and the cycle of prompt-dependency begins.  We inevitably ask the question, “Who is doing the thinking?”

Dr. Rydell has developed and uses the Learning Style Profile for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Rydell, 2012) as the primary tool and guideline for his National and International Online Autism Consulting.  The LSP is designed to assist teachers, therapists and parents with understanding an individual child's learning style characteristics and patterns.

The LSP targets ten intervention components that represent the greatest challenges for professionals and families based on the learning style differences of ASD.  The LSP is an easy and clear reference tool that assists partners with interpreting why many of these interactive breakdowns occur and what factors need to be considered in order to achieve greater learning and social success with others.  The LSP also provides a guideline for creating and maintaining appropriate educational, intervention and family-systems programs to advance children from learning style weaknesses to learning style strengths. The LSP is applicable and inclusive of across all developmental, educational and ABA approaches.

            Ten Learning Style Components

Primary components of the National and International Online Autism Consulting sessions are based on the Learning Style Profile for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Rydell, 2012):

1.  Object vs. People Orientation

2.  Learns Through Social Modeling, Demonstration and Rehearsal

3.  Attains Social Cues from Multiple Partners

4.  Level of Flexibility with Objects, Activities and People

5.  Shared Control

6.  Interaction Style

7.  Verbal/Symbolic Communication

8.  Executive Function

9.  Distance Learning

10.  Transitions


Check out the Preview of the Learning Style Profile here
Click here to learn more about Dr. Rydell's new ePub


Dr. Patrick J. Rydell provides National and International Online Autism Consulting through Telepractice, which is the online application of telecommunications technology (e.g., Skype, FaceTime®) for delivery of autism consultation at a distance.  Telepractice and online consulting directly links Dr. Rydell to the family, teacher or therapist for autism services in underserved circumstances or when additional collaboration is desired.  Telepractice and online consulting may also be used to overcome barriers of access to autism services caused by distance and/or unavailability of autism specialists. This program is an excellent option for families, administrators, private practices and professionals who desire an efficient combination of ongoing a) advanced ASD training, b) program development, and c) consultation without the travel costs

National and International Online Autism Consulting may be used for:

            a) Weekly individual consultations with families to develop and implement ASD programs for their child
           b) Weekly training, consultation and collaboration with existing teams (e.g., schools, agencies, private practices) to increase the team’s knowledge of ASD learning style differences and to assist with the team’s capacity to deliver best-practice ASD services.

          c) Weekly coordination and/or sub-contracting with a local professional(s) (e.g., speech pathologist, behavior specialist) to deliver best-practice ASD services.

            Format Options:

  1. Real-time observations

  2. Pre-recorded case studies

  3. Small-group seminars on the LSP

  4. Demonstrative teaching

  5. Parent conferences



Dr. Patrick J. Rydell is the Founder and Director of the Rocky Mountain Autism Center in Lone Tree, Colorado. With more than 32 years of practice in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), he has provided international and national training, workshops, consultations and program development to government agencies, medical facilities, universities, school districts, professionals and families. 

His doctorate was earned through a National Institute of Health Leadership in Autism grant (1989) and he has a double master's degree in speech pathology and special education with a program emphasis in early childhood and autism spectrum disorders. He is also a U.S. Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant recipient (2005).

He is the author of the Learning Style Profile for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Rydell, 2012) and co-author of the SCERTS®Model (Prizant, Wetherby, Rubin, Laurent & Rydell, 2006). Dr. Rydell has co-authored 5 book chapters and numerous peer reviewed research articles on topics related to autism spectrum disorders. 

Contact Us:

For more information about Dr. Patrick J. Rydell and Rocky Mountain Autism Center, click here

For more information about Dr. Rydell’s National and International Online Autism Consulting or to schedule consultation sessions, contact Elizabeth B. Rydell, Educational Program Coordinator, by clicking here

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