At Autism Partnership, we believe that individuals with autism can all be capable learners! What makes the difference is the method: individuals tend to flourish when they are being taught with the right method. To me it is no difference to the importance of taking the right medicine when we are not well.
Since it is the method developed and used by AP you can probably guess its name! Hurray! We call it the Autism Partnership Method. Today I am not going to bombard you with loads of information, but rather I will try to talk about this method by relating to our daily experiences.
When do we learn best?
For me personally I learn the most when the topic is fascinating. When it is less so I don’t blame myself for being less invested in the process. I think it’s the same for our kids and students too! When they are genuinely interested in what we teach they are often more keen to learn. But that sounds ideal doesn’t it? For a lot of students, especially for the beginners, they are not that interested in lot of different things. So our first target is to make them really interested, motivated and thereby engaged in the learning process. Establishing learning motivation is important:
- • Broaden your child’s interests
- • At the beginning of training, it’s necessary to use some reinforcements (such as toys) to build motivation for learning. But keep in mind that we must have an internalization plan with the goal of building a more internal motivation.
We may need to kickstart this process with something more tangible/ external but over time it should be evolved into something more intrinsic.
Good learning behaviors and attitudes
When you walk into a classroom you can tell almost immediately who is learning and who is not. I bet for those who are flopping on the table, who appear to be distracted etc. there is a high chance they are not paying attention. And while they may be quite smart, they are not going to pick up as much as they can. I think the same holds true for our students: when they are motivated (as I have previously mentioned), attentive, being ready to learn they often absorb a much bigger proportion of the lesson. Learning behaviors and attitudes have a huge impact on the efficiency of learning:
- • Good learning behaviors include: sitting nicely, being concentrate, actively participating in class activities, no disruptive behaviors, etc.
- • For children who are just starting to receiving training, teachers must spend time and efforts to build good learning behaviors and attitudes. We will definitely go deep on what that “readiness” is and how it can be nurtured and developed in the workshop.
The model of effective applied behavior analysis
One common critic for us ABA folks is that we teach in one single format, namely one-to one all the time! Before we defend ourselves, I just wanted you to think again about the eventual goal for therapy, and you will know why it doesn’t make sense to remain in the same teaching format forever. However, it doesn’t seem right to me to start straight in a classroom too! It’s important for us to always remember that therapy is a process, and one-to-one is a wonderful starting point for many of our students. We just need to think hard about what’s the next step in this journey and how we can facilitate more successes as we move on. The model of effective applied behavior analysis should be diversified: In addition to one-on-one teaching, there should also be small groups and large groups with the goal of getting children into the mainstream learning environment as quickly as possible. But this process must be carefully planned and shouldn’t act in haste.
What makes great teachers?
For me great teachers know what they teach, are always fun and engaging and they make great judgements. They know how to help their students flourish and when their students are struggling and they figure it out pretty quickly. I think that’s just the same for good therapists! Good therapists are usually good at making their lesson interesting, they are often fun and most importantly they are good at making decisions. It’s so crucial to the therapy process as it helps to drive a long way. I am not going to bore you with more words but I can reassure you that we will cover a lot more about we call clinical judgments when we meet up in Macau!
I hope it’s an interesting read and we have tons of videos and contents prepared for Macau. I would love to hear what you have to say about our method and looking forward to seeing many of you!
Information provided by Autism Partnership
Autism Partnership (AP) is one of the most established Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) service providers for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in the world. Formed in 1994 in the United States, AP is run by professional clinicians and specializes in providing one-on-one therapy, group interventions and overseas consultation for children with ASD and their families.
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