Interviewee: Abbie Chan (APS Senior Classroom Program Supervisor)
1. What is your role in Aoi Pui School (APS)?My current role in APS is a Senior Classroom Program Supervisor and I have been working in the APS family for eight years since 2009. My main duties include establishing guidelines of Individualized Education Program (IEP) and setting learning target for individual students on their behavioural, conversational, social and academic performance. I am also in charge of supervising teachers, monitoring daily classroom operation, scheduling regular meetings with parents to report students’ progress and determining goals for our students. I also provide individual ABA therapy services after school hours and organize parents training when needed. Reporting to the Principal and discussing ideas with other supervisors are also parts of my regular duties.
2. Have you received any training before becoming a Program Supervisor?I have first received training on Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) Therapy in Autism Partnership (AP) as a Behaviour Therapist. I have then joined APS and started my career as a teacher teaching children with ASD, while continued applying the ABA skills I have learned in AP.
3.How do the teaching methods of teachers differ from APS and typical special schools?With the application of the behaviour therapy skills, we thoroughly analyse students’ individual needs and set customized target goals for each students. To equip students with the desired skills, we often divide their learning goals into different small steps and provide assistance at appropriate time. This systematic approach helps students to improve their skills in behaviour, language, social, academic and related areas. APS is specially catered for children with ASD. We offer individualized education programs and maintain a high teacher to student ratio to help students to learn best.
4.What impress you the most while working in APS? Have you faced any difficulties?Every new student is a new challenge to me. Although children with ASD have some common characteristics, but each student has their own strengths and weaknesses.
There is a girl who left me the most memorable experience. When first arrived APS, she often lost her temper when she failed to communicate with others. She got very emotional when someone misunderstood her words. Therefore, when designing her curriculum in communication, we first focused on expanding her vocabulary, then we worked on strengthening the diversity of content when she communicates with others. For instance, we taught her applying ordinal words like “first”, “then” and “last” to describe orders of events. Applying conjunctions to help organize and enrich her sentence structures. We also trained her on controlling her emotions when someone misread her thoughts.
Another memorable experience is that during our visit at an elderly care center, a student boy could apply the communication technique he learnt effectively. He chatted with the elderly patiently and responded appropriately. Everyone praised him for his politeness.
5. According to your experience, what learning difficulties do children with ASD often encounter in school?In school, the challenges they confront include attention deficit during group learning, inappropriate behaviours and emotions, lack of motivation in learning, ignoring teachers’ instructions and more.
6.How do you help students with learning difficulties?We design individualized behavioural system to cope with students’ behaviour and emotion issues. Through applying reinforcement and incentive, we encourage students to behave appropriately and follow instructions. We will focus on students’ cognitive ability first if they cannot understand the meaning of instructions, then increase their participation through interesting activities.
7.How can parents help their children to adapt to school life?IEP meetings are held three times a year. Through the collaboration with parents and teachers, parents are able to take a closer look at their children’s progress and improvement, and help students to uncover their potentials and strengths. During school breaks, students are asked to record their daily activity and share with their schoolmates. This helps in training and improving their communication and public speaking skills. These diaries also help teachers to learn more about students’ daily lives and changes.
8.How do you help students in integrating into the community?Community training is an integral part of our curriculum, it allows students to learn appropriate rules and etiquette in the community. Students would be given the opportunity to rehearse before applying skills learnt outside the classroom.
There are monthly outings, such as visiting flower markets and elderly care centres. These activities help to facilitate the generalization of skills outside school. Through their first-hand experiences in the community, students get to apply the knowledge they have learnt at school.
9.What expectation do you have from your students?I hope my students can be more motivated to learn, to participate and able to learn more skills and knowledge from us. Apart from helping my students to transfer to mainstream schools, I hope they are able to integrate into the community and can work well in workplace and live independently.
10.Some parents are concerned that there may be insufficient opportunities for children to develop social skills as APS is catered for children with ASD and runs in small classes. Is it true?Generally, our teacher to student ratio is 1:2 or 1:3, however, we will flexibly adjust the number of students per group based on students’ abilities at their current stages. For example, we will establish a “Girls Club” for the female students of the different grades. Students have to work with students from different classrooms for certain group projects.
Furthermore, APS regularly organizes large-scale group activities, such as Sports Day and interclass competitions. All these activities encourage students to communicate and support each other to complete assigned tasks and reach their goals.
11.What would you like to say to the parents of APS?I’m really blessed to be part of the APS family and be able to use my ABA skills to teach and help students with ASD. Throughout the years of my teaching career, I have met different parents and understood the stress they had for their children not be able to receive any effective therapy treatment. I am honoured to be the role of a teacher and a supporter, and to gain support and trust from every parent. The most rewarding experiences are accompanying the growth and witnessing the remarkable improvement of every child in APS.
Learn more about APS from the the interview of Ronald Tin (APS Curriculum Leader).
On 15 Nov (Fri.), Ms Suzy Law will share with you the domains APS considers to be effective in teaching students with ASD and the ongoing process of how APS works with the students and the families in this process of goal setting. Case studies presented will demonstrate the breadth of their programming and offer insights in the challenges they commonly face in this process.
Info provided by Abbie Chan, APS Senior Classroom Program Supervisor
To learn more about Aoi Pui School (APS):
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1.你現在在愛培的角色是甚麼?我於2009年加入愛培這大家庭，不經不覺已在愛培工作8年了。我現時是愛培學校的行為分析治療課程監督 。我主要的工作是為學生制定個別學習計劃 (IEP) ，訂立個人的行為、語言、社交和學術方面的學習目標。我亦督導老師教學和班房日常運作，定期和家長進行會議，滙報學生進度以釐定未來學習方向。放學後也會為學生提供一對一的ABA治療課程，有需要時也會提供家長培訓工作坊。另外我也會向校長滙報進度和與其他治療師討論個案及汲取意見。
2.在你成為愛培學校的課程監督前你有接受過甚麼訓練嗎?在開始教學生涯之前我接受了Autism Partnership (AP)的應用行為分析(ABA)治療培訓，以ABA治療去教導學生。加入 APS後，我開始了我的教育的生涯，繼續透過ABA治療，為學生改善問題，教育下一代。
8.如何幫助孩子與社區有更多接觸和了解?我們的課程設有社區訓練令學生學習公共教育、公眾地方規矩和禮儀。學生會先在學校模擬練習然後走出校園實地應用。 每個月也會有校外活動，例如行花市、老人院探訪等等。 學生透過這些親身體驗，把在課堂所學的知識應用到日常生活中。
11.你有甚麼說話想和愛培的家長分享?我非常感恩和榮幸，能夠成為愛培學校的一份子，運用我的經驗及 ABA 行為治療的知識，教育患有自閉症的學生。在多年的教學生涯裡，我接觸到不同類型的家長，明白到患有自閉症的學生在未接受治療之前的情況，曾為家長帶來非常大的壓力。作為老師，我感到十分榮幸，亦感謝每一位家長的支持和信任。而最開心的事情是能夠見證每一位愛培學校的學生，都有意想不到的進步和改善。
了解更多關於 田國宏(愛培學校課程主任)的面談 .
在11月15日的“Creating and Supporting School Curriculum and Environment with Application of ABA”工作坊中，愛培學校的Ms. Suzy將與大家分享愛培學校如何採用ABA幫助自閉症學生有效學習，以及他們如何與家長及學生共同設定目標及解決當中遇到的挑戰。
資訊提供: 陳恩楟 (愛培學校行為分析治療課程監督)
愛培學校（原名為Autism Partnership學校）由 愛培自閉症基金 Autism Partnership Foundation 於 2007 年成立，是首間為能力較高的自閉症兒童而設的香港註冊私立小學。