Todd’s program plan calls for him to learn to use a ruler. He has few interests and many interfering behaviors, but through observation, his teacher has discovered that he likes playing with colorful yarn.
Instead of asking him to put down his yarn, she uses that very important positive relationship she has established with him to engage him in a brief counting activity using his yarn. Then they compare the lengths of his yarn, identify the colors of his yarn and measure his yarn using a ruler. They also write the word, “yarn,” incorporate the words and pictures into his picture exchange communication system and create silly stories with the yarn.
The adult is using whatever motivates the child to facilitate learning, develop communication skills and build social relationships.
Throughout the lesson, the teacher makes sure the learning activity is laced with an abundance of positive social interplay, reinforcement and needed breaks. She also follows Todd’s lead and adjusts expectations accordingly. After he accomplishes the task, Todd is rewarded with his favorite item or activity.
Fundamental rights, courtesy, respect, dignity, individuality, and self determination — those concepts are all woven into the fabric of Linwood and dictate everything we do, in the classroom and beyond.