The program constitute curriculum majorly from Michelle Garcia Winner Social Skill Thinking program. The program is planned to provoke the thought process of a child to be able to independently judge a socially appropriate or inappropriate behavior. An appropriate and acceptable behavior is practiced within a peer group to generalize the learning’s across various settings. The program is structured and is revised at regular intervals depending on the level of the learning of the children in the group. The videos and program of the group are shared with an social skill expert in the USA , who shares her feedback , suggests program modification and updates on teaching protocols.
The main objectives of the Social Thinking program are
We teach all these above skills through games, activities and stories. The program is revised and updated regularly as per the children’s level. Parents are kept aware of programs being done in the group and how to generalize it at home and other settings.
For parents residing out of Delhi-NCR we have specifically designed a Training program where a parent can visit us with their child for 1-3 months. The program is designed to train parents on ABA skills specific to their child. A detailed assessment of the child is performed at time of joining and a program is prepared by a BCBA that includes multiple functional skills.
A customized child specific training is imparted to parent. The training includes minimum of theory but relies heavily on practical work where a parent works with their own child. Parent is mentored and regular feedback are given by a BCBA to parent to sharpen the ABA skills to meet the program goals. Once the training is completed we support parents remotely via exchange of assessments reports and videos.
The model of ‘special’ education (in a separate environmental setting) not only deprives students with special needs of full access to the curriculum but also interaction with same-aged peers. With the advent of inclusive education, a school’s resources can be used more efficiently by maximizing the availability of staff and materials for all students, equally. Inclusion programs provide a stimulating environment, as well as assessment and observation tools.
What is inclusion?
Inclusion is a philosophy and an educational approach that offers all students equal opportunities for academic and social accomplishments. This setting can be done in age appropriate class groups, where everyone will benefit from education in mainstream schools. This environment allows parents, teachers, and others to work collaboratively using appropriate resources to understand and interpret the needs and abilities of all students. The inclusion program at Learning Skills Academy offers a multidisciplinary treatment approach delivered by experts in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, Special Education, Inclusion Specialists, Speech & Language Pathology & Occupational Therapy. The team works on implementing behavioral strategies, adapting and implementing curriculum, differentiating instruction, and targeting individual needs based on IEP goals.
The inclusion program includes –
Curriculum Adaptations : To ensure that every student receives access to education based on his/her current skill level. The curriculum is differentiated for the different needs within the classroom.
Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy : The Speech & Language Therapist (SLT) and the Occupational Therapist work closely with the Inclusion classroom teacher to ensure progress levels for students working in pairs or individually. Progress is monitored and documented through regular meetings with the child, parents, and the Inclusion Teacher.
Individualized Educational Plan(IEP) : After observing the students across all areas and subjects, the annual goals are set. IEP meetings are conducted once/term. In this meeting, academic goals and baselines (focus on developmental areas of need which overlap with educational goals) are thoroughly reviewed. The meeting is based on the results and conclusions determined by the various assessment methods.
Behavior Modification : Depending upon the goals and objectives set for each student, parent feedback, and classroom observation, a behavior plan is designed for each student with behavioral problems and difficulties. The behavior plan is shared with the mainstream teacher, who will also follow the same behavioral methodologies to ensure consistency and generalization in behavior modification.
Environmental Accommodations : Providing quiet, non-visually stimulating areas allow children with special needs to concentrate better. Visual instructions featuring images, drawings, scientific objects, etc. are employed, particularly with younger children.
Social Skills : Students with special needs are taught in a regular education school alongside “neurotypical” developing peers, to learn and develop social skills. Continuous support and attention is given to each child keeping their specific needs in mind. Different strategies and methods of communication are combined, for all the children to have common and understanding.
Advantages of inclusion programs for students :-
1. Helps build meaningful friendships 2. Increases social initiations, networks, and relationships 3. Helps in building social and behavioral skills, along with building peer role models for learning enhancement and academic skill acquisition 4. Increases access to general curriculum 5. Enhances skill acquisition and generalization along with curriculum adaptations 6. Creates opportunities for interaction and social skill developments 7. Increases acceptance and appreciation of individual differences 8. Prepares all students for adult life in an inclusive society 9. Opportunities to master activities by practicing and teaching others
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