One of the more popular ways to teach kids with autism is to use PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) - a nonverbal system of communication that uses small pictures. I have no experience with it, and I don't think Ryan's school uses it with him because he generally responds to verbal language.
Ryan has been having trouble remembering the order of operations involved in using the bathroom (pull up pants before you wash hands...), so Chrissy suggested I use a PECS-like picture schedule to help him. I put it off for a few weeks, then drew a five-step sequence for using the toilet, and another handy chart for using the sink.
And it's working!
At first Ryan was resistant - he freaked out, shouting something about "get purple arrow back please" - but by the third day, he was reciting "Step Four: up da underwear!" Now that he has this chart for reference, I don't have to stand in the bathroom door and hector him with annoying (to me) questions like, "What do you do first? Pull down your pants. Pants!" He's better able to focus on the task at hand, and less likely to throw himself on the floor in frustration.
And he's another step closer to being an independent little person.